Walsall poets encouraging everyone to celebrate the art form

The UK wide celebration of poetry is on Thursday with the theme this year ‘Refuge.’

The day is intended to help people discover and enjoy poetry and encourage everyone to read, write and share poems.

In Walsall, poets have already been holding a five week-long exhibition of poetry called Creative Walsall based on art. Collaborating with Walsall Society of Artists, they have been assisted by students from the town’s college and One Walsall, an organisation which supports volunteers in the town.

They are hoping to encourage as many people to visit at The Crossing at St Paul’s on Saturday as part of the poetry day celebrations.

Hosted on the day by area published poet Mark Ingram, also performing spoken word amongst others will be Russell Smith, Brendan Hawthorne, Keith Gwilliams, Paul McDonald and Mel Wardle-Woodend.

Poetry workshops will be run by Sara Meredith, Tina J Cox and Leanne Cooper, with music by So It Goes and Walsall band Dog Town Jack.

David McGuire the chairman of Walsall Society of Artists said: “Although it is not on the actual national poetry day we thought having it on the Saturday would attract more people and everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the spoken word, with musical entertainment on hand.
“It`s intended to be a platform for all forms of creativity in the Walsall area for people to work, perform and create together. It`s absolutely free to enter and the plan is to put Walsall on the map and open up poetry to people in the town.”

Ian Henery, the former poet laureate of Walsall who has helped organise the exhibition and celebration said: “National Poetry Day demonstrates the importance of poetry and the value that poetry adds to society.”

“It breaks down the misconceptions that poetry is outdated and inaccessible and starts conversations about old and new poems plus the way poems make us feel. The aim is to encourage everyone to get stuck in and use the power of words for change.”

The event will take place on Saturday between 10 – 2pm at The Crossing at St Paul’s, Darwall Street.

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