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Call for budding Staffordshire poets to celebrate where they live

Undiscovered writers are being encouraged to bring out their inner bard and write a poem about where they live.

The call comes as part of a new series of workshops organised by Staffordshire County Council’s Library Service being presented by Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate, Bert Flitcroft.

Called ‘So this is where we live,’ the workshops will show people how much fun poetry can be and give people tips on creative writing and putting together their first poem.

Bert, who is urging people to love poetry said:

Staffordshire is such a diverse county with a thousand years of history behind it and such beautiful countryside. But I feel that it has no resounding cultural identity. I want people to take part in this project and prove me wrong by showing what they love about their county and what it means to them.

“The workshops are creative writing workshops, not purely poetry, and the aim is to encourage anyone, experienced writers or not, to come along and have a go.”

Gill Heath, Library Chief at Staffordshire county council said:

Bert’s workshops and the Staffordshire Poetry Collection are both an ideal way to promote our wonderful county, and boost an appreciation of poetry and creative writing in people of all ages and abilities.

“Staffordshire, the creative county, has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, so there should be no shortage of inspiration for local people to put pen to paper. Writing, reading and listening to poetry are all great activities to get involved in. And, joining in with local groups and clubs is also a great way to meet people, make new friends and come together as a community.  Children are more than welcome too, which makes this a fun way to encourage a love of reading and writing at a younger age.”

It is hoped that poems produced at the workshops will contribute to The Staffordshire Poetry Collection, a project to collect new poems written by local people. The collection will be framed and hung in the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford and in libraries across the county.

Bert, from Fradley, near Lichfield, began his role as the county’s Poet Laureate in October 2015.

The following workshops have been arranged, however, people can also ask about additional workshops at their local library.

  • November 3, Newcastle Library, 12 – 2pm, Workshop with Age UK
  • November 15, Codsall Library ,1 – 3pm
  • November 22, Leek Library, , 10.45am – 12.30pm, Borderland Voices
  • November 23, Lichfield Library, 2 – 4 pm, Where I live..
  • November 24, Eccleshall Library, 2 – 4pm, Eccleshall Writers
  • December 6, Burslem, Swan Bank Church, 2 – 4pm, Burslem Book Room

The World of Wedgewood Museum in Barlaston are also hosting a series of Bert’s workshops although these will not contribute to the Staffordshire Poetry Collection.

  • October 28, 10.30 am – 1.00pm, The Essence of England.
  • November 5th, 10.30am – 1.00pm, Neither Use nor Ornament?
  • December 3, 10.30am – 1.00pm, Cameo’s, Causes and Commemoratives

People can find out more about Staffordshire’s Poet Laureates at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/poetlaureate

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