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Bert Flitcroft and Matilda Houston-Brown
Bert Flitcroft and Matilda Houston-Brown, Staffordshire's new poets laureate

Call for budding Staffordshire poets to celebrate where they live

Bert Flitcroft, Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate, is inviting the county’s residents to create a ‘picture in words’ about their own locality.

Bert is planning to tour the county with a series of workshops, entitled ‘So this is where we live…’ aimed at creating a collection of new poems, written by local people, about their own special part of Staffordshire.

The Staffordshire Poetry Collection will be framed and hung in the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford and in libraries across the county.

Bert, who is currently in the process of gathering existing poems for the project, to compliment those created in the workshops, said:

Staffordshire is such a diverse county, with no real cultural identity – my idea is that this project might go some way towards creating one.

I would like to emphasise that 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.

If anyone has a poem that they would like to be considered for the collection, then please get in touch with The Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford shirehallgallery@staffordshire.gov.uk or contact me at http://www.bert-flitcroft-poetry.com/.

Bert’s series of poetry workshops, ‘So this is where we live…’ continues at Stafford Library on Saturday 11 June from 10am to 12pm. More dates in libraries across Staffordshire will be added soon.

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for Communities and the Environment at the county council said:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but equally words can create some vivid pictures.

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.

Bert, from Fradley, near Lichfield, began his role as the county’s Poet Laureate at a special National Poetry Day inauguration ceremony at Stone Library last October. Also installed at the same event was Matilda Houston-Brown, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s Young Poet Laureate. As an experienced poet, part of Bert’s role is to offer advice and guidance to the youngster from the Staffordshire Moorlands, who at 14 is the youngest ever poet to be awarded the position.

As part of his residency as Staffordshire Poet Laureate, Bert will be visiting The Shire Hall Gallery on Friday 10th & Saturday 18th June from 10am to12pm with an opportunity to meet and share with him afterwards.

To find out more about Staffordshire’s Poet Laureates, please visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/poetlaureate

For more information on the Arts Service team at Staffordshire, please visit  www.staffordshire.gov.uk/artsconnected