Poet in Residence Starts Preparing For Wolverhampton Literature Festival

(Pictured left to right in the Mander Centre Community Hub – Josh Griffiths, Ian Henery, Poet in Residence, Chris Allen, Chair WCR FM, Greg Stokes, The Kates Hill Press, Claire Tedstone, Saturday Books & Gallery, Laura Taylor, Marketing Manager, Mander Centre, Penelope Thomas, Wolverhampton Literature Festival, Alphina Ndlovu, Communities Against Racism Enterprise and Finance Director WCR FM & Julia Farrell, Freda & Bertie`s Photography, Wolverhampton Fair Trade and Karma Times)

Wolverhampton Literature Festival is set to return for its 7th year in February 2023.  The festival will run from Friday 3rd February to Sunday 5th February 2023.  Hosted by City of Wolverhampton Council the festival aims to amplify the voice of authors, poets, writers, storytellers, puppeteers, podcasters, vloggers and publishers across the UK.

Firing up in readiness to support the community and Wolverhampton Council is WCR FM (Wolverhampton Community Radio Training Limited) which has been serving Wolverhampton for over 25 years.

“Changes in the BBC and commercial radio mean that WCR FM is the only station providing a bespoke public service to those who live and work in Wolverhampton” said Ian Henery, Poet in Residence and Legal Director of WCR FM.  “We are a not-for-profit social enterprise that is sustained by over 10,000 voluntary hours per year and is regulated by OFCOM.  Many of our volunteers go on to develop careers in various aspects of the media.”

Ian explained that it`s important for WCR FM to help celebrate our creative communities living in and working in Wolverhampton, the Black Country and environs.

“Wolverhampton Literature Festival is always looking to provide something for everyone,” he said.  “Through an outstanding programme of events Wolverhampton continues to re-light Wolverhampton through the power of literature.”

In 2023 WCR FM is hosting 3 days of events in the Mander Centre Community Hub which are free of charge to the public and which support Wolverhampton Literature Festival and Wolverhampton Council.  The 3 days of events also feature outside broadcasts in the Mander Centre Community Hub with Jason Forrest, presenter of Wolverhampton Today and The Milk Bar podcast, Tim Beech and Chris Allen, presenter of Chris Allen In Conversation.

“In addition to exhibiting artwork and poetry in the Mander Centre Community Hub” said Ian Henery “we are also showcasing the launches of various books, workshops, authors` talks, publishers, an open mic session and the world premiere of a play called “The Plastic Migrant”.

The concept for the play came from Professor Rashid Gatrad, OBE DL and was written by Paul Ingles and Jade Smedley-Baugh, and directed by Josh Griffiths, featuring local children.  It`s the story of an illegal migrant wanting to find a cure for his wife`s infertility and who saves planet earth from the scourge of plastic.”

One of the books that will be launched is “The Story Of Three Plastic Bottles” by Professor Rashid Gatrad OBE DL, founder of WASUP – World Against Single Use Plastic.   “It`s a brilliantly written book,” said Ian Henery ” about what happens when people throw away plastic items thoughtlessly.  This book inspires readers to look after our planet and question if they have ever carelessly thrown away plastic items which are harming marine life and humans through poisonous leachates.  The quiz in this book is to get children to learn more about recycling.”

WASUP was founded by Professor Gatrad in 2017 and is now established in well over 50 countries.

“The poem in the book is very touching” explained Ian “and makes the reader feel what a pristine planet would be like”.

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