What do you get if you stick a poet on a bike?
This is the question more than a dozen local poets are hoping to answer on Tuesday 5th October when Poetry in Motion hits the paved thoroughfares of Walsall Town Centre.
Looking for a way to celebrate the second stage of the AJ Bell Womens Tour of Britain, local resident Andrew Clayton wasted no time in assembling a team of fellow creatives to tackle a project matching words to wheels.
A converted ice-cream trike has been fitted with a podium from which the poets will be encouraged to deliver their lyrical masterpieces to the crowds as they mingle in the town during the second stage of the race, which takes place in and around Walsall and Barr Beacon.
Local man and respected wordsmith Peace is one of those lining up for the starting gun. As a past poet laureate of Walsall, he said,
“From Mary Darwall to Sir Henry John Newbolt. From Richard Leigh to Donna Hill. And from Jennifer Beth Blake to Richard Wright. Throughout the centuries, from yesteryear to today, and through its wealth of past and present creative writers, Walsall distinguishes itself as a rich and most excellent source of poetic works. Poetry in Motion will affirm that this beautiful and most important art form is as alive and well in our town today as it has ever been.”
Fellow local poet, and another previous poet laureate Ian Henery added, “During lockdown Zoom was wonderful for bringing poets together. However, what could be better, now, than being able to meet up with the poets we have been networking with to celebrate the Women’s Tour?”
At the formal launch photo call, the poets were joined by members of Aldridge Running Club’s cycling group.
Phil Buckley, who curates the Karma Times Facebook page and contributes photos to this and many other online forums was present to capture the moment, and took some shots of the poets and cyclists. As a backer of the project, he has been helping behind the scenes to prepare the day and to ensure everything goes to plan.
At his invitation, Professor Abdul Gatrad has agreed to give a supporting speech from the top of the market hill beneath the imposing figure of St Matthews Church on the benefits of cycling, the importance of travelling by more sustainable modes, and
So if you hear the strains of lyrical lines wafting on the breeze in Walsall this Tuesday, check to see if the speaker is aboard the Poetry in Motion trike! They begin around 11am in the Arboretum, before taking a tour of the town centre and finishing in Leicester Street.
Further details can be found on the Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/PQqqEXFI