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The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, award winning writer Ali Smith and novelist, broadcaster and critic Sarah Dunant, all presented a gala reading of works written in response to the Fitzwilliam’s collections on Thursday 03 September.

The sold-out event celebrated the objects in the Treasured Possessions exhibition, which features the many hidden wonders that are normally off-view in the Fitzwilliam - over 80% of the objects came from the Museum’s reserves.

Each of the 300 beautiful and engaging objects was once a treasured possession, revealing the personal tastes and aspirations of its owner, and preserving precious memories. To date the exhibition has had over 90 thousand visitors.

Carol Ann Duffy commented: "I was delighted to be part of the residency and to draw inspiration from this beautiful exhibition. What spoke directly to me was the human spirit behind the objects and the sense of lives closer to our own than we would think."

For her piece Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem on an English Oval Map Sampler made circa 1780-90. The sampler demonstrates the high level of technical skill that a young amateur could acquire with an accurate interpretation of the geography and beautifully embroidered flowers round the edges.

Read the Cambridge News coverage of the event online.

The works can be read online at the Treasured Possessions website.