WCR FM: The home of Great Music and Pure Poetry!

Listeners to 101.8 WCR FM already know they’re guaranteed the best mix of music and
local life whenever they tune in or log on.

But now Wolverhampton’s only station has added poetry to its repertoire after acclaimed
local poet Ian Henery joined the Board as “Poet in Residence.”

Ian’s latest collection, “Poems of Hope” by Kates Hill Press, was launched at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival in the Art Gallery earlier this year. Ian has performed
at every Wolverhampton Literature Festival since its inception six years ago. He ran
poetry workshops for people with addiction issues for Recovery Near You and the
Wolverhampton Substance Misuse Service, including survivors of domestic abuse and
women seeking to exit the sex industry in Walsall.  He was also Mayor of Walsall`s Poet
Laureate for 4 years and performs with poetry collective Poets Against Racism.

Ian`s tenure at Hope Radio ran for 10 seasons with 60 weekly 2 hour shows broadcast twice a week.  After he left Hope Radio he project-managed his play for China West Midlands which was staged at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham for a week and was part of the Chinese New Year Festival.

“I am chuffed to bits to be appointed Poet in Residence,” said Ian, “because it means I`ll be able to extend WCR FM`s reach into the community.  I had a regular poetry slot two days a week on Susan Vickers` show and I`ve guested regularly on Jason Forrest`s show. It shows that WCR appreciate a drop of culture!”

In a previous role Ian was Poet in Residence of Hope Radio in Birmingham and
presented The Ian Henery Show which attracted 14,000 streams online each broadcast
from all over the world.

“I used the platform to showcase poets,” he said, “by networking and forming collaborations with poets. We staged two successful community poems, featured five Birmingham Poet Laureates, including the Wednesbury Poet Laureate,Wolverhampton`s first Poet Laureate and the Staffordshire Poet Laureate plus regular spotlights on the Wolverhampton Literature Festival.”

Ian`s tenure at Hope Radio ran for 10 seasons with 60 weekly 2 hour shows broadcast twice a week.  After he left Hope Radio he project-managed his play for China West Midlands which was staged at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham for a week and was part of the Chinese New Year Festival.

There is a lot I want to do at WCR FM,” explained Ian, “including working with Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton BID and Bilston BID to showcase our vibrant and diverse community with a platform at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival.  I am also excited at the prospect of working with the National Trust at Wightwick Manor and the Council at their historical buildings including Bantock House.  There is so much history on our doorstep.”

As part of National Poetry Day Ian`s first poem (featured below) for WCR FM is called “Acorn” which focuses on our environment. Ian will write a poem every week for WCR FM which will feature on their social media.

“I`m delighted that Ian Henery is going to be bringing his creative talent and vast experience to WCR FM as our Poet in Residence” said Chair Chris Allen.  “You`ll be able to hear Ian reflect on key moments for our City, such as Wolverhampton Literature Festival and Remembrance Sunday.  Listen out and visit www.wcrfm for Ian`s offerings.  It will also be a regular feature on Sunday mornings as my show with Debbie Huxton is about inspiring people with inspiring stories”.

For further information please contact WCR FM Chair Chris Allen on 07956 303037 or via email: [email protected]

Ian`s poem for WCR FM

Acorn

(National Poetry Day 2022)

Gilded October leaves blow through the ancient forest

Anxious birds; carried over miles of unspoilt land,

Pulsing with life

Before disappearing under the bulldozers’ shovel.

Mists lay over the forest then winter’s show

acorn waits

Fit to burst.

March.  A pale root finger groped the dark leaf mould

And acorn-tip thrust a probing stalk towards the sun,

A green periscope breaking out on the surface.

The root examined the rich soil like a snail’s horn

Revelling in spring air, gentle rain and yellow primroses

Splashed on decaying leaves.

The human insanity of wars and persecutions were irrelevant:

Birds had sung in the temple of leaves that was now

an oak

What else mattered?

Butterflies and wood warblers laid their eggs under its protection,

Badgers built their sett among the roots and one ivy berry

Became a warm truss for birds the following winter.

 

The forest was broken up into enclosures for farming,

Wild bogs and heathlands brought under the plough;

Trees chopped down

Harmless wild creatures and plants condemned to death.

Forest vanished, humans slaughtered beautiful wildlife

for fun

In the wood.

No cuckoo notes sounded, only the noisy barking of dog,

The monotonous bellowing of sullen cows in endless fields

And the roar of the motorway pumping out diesel.

 

Smog lay over the desert land smelling like old cabbages

Shrouding the tower blocks of concrete and glass,

Reflecting stale canals

Coursing through scarred earth of industrial ruin.

In the little glade the old oak was tired and ready to fall

like a leaf

Back to the soil

To become part of the earth where it had been born.

After enduring centuries, it still had an acorn left

Its last.

Ian Henery

www.ianhenerypoet.com

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