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Celebrating launch of county’s first poetry collection

Poetry fans from across Staffordshire gathered for a celebration event for the launch of the county’s first poetry collection

The Staffordshire Poetry Collection includes 50 unique poems written by local people and was officially launched at Stafford library as part of National Poetry Day on 28 September.

During the evening people got to hear readings of the poems, welcome the new Young Poet Laureate Rebecca Lockwood and the new Staffordshire Poet laureate Emily Rose Galvin announced on the night.

The collection, chosen from over 140 entries, form a diverse and unique picture of Staffordshire in words.  From Burton to Brewood, and Keele to Kinver, people’s favourite places to visit, memories and thoughts are amongst the themes.

Gill Heath, Library Chief at Staffordshire county council said:

“We’re incredibly excited about our first ever Staffordshire Poetry collection and I would like to thank everyone who submitted a poem.

“Not only will the collection help promote our wonderful county, but it’s a great way of boosting a wider appreciation of poetry and creative writing too.  After all, we’re Staffordshire, the creative county and the collection gives us a unique blend of poems as diverse as the county itself.”

Outgoing Staffordshire Poet Laureate, Bert Flitcroft who worked with Staffordshire County Council’s library and arts service to pull the collection together said:

“’I’m absolutely delighted with the collection, which I feel illustrates the diverse nature of our County and proves that poetry is alive and kicking in Staffordshire.

“I do hope that the poems reach out to as many people as possible and I’m delighted that they are all now online with an audio option enabling everyone to be able to read, listen and explore them.”

A selection of the poems inspired by Stafford and the surrounding areas are currently on display in Stafford Library. Funded by Stafford District Arts Council, local artist Dawn Jutton produced photographs in response to some of the locally themed poems which complement the collection on display.

The Staffordshire Poetry Collection can be viewed at www.staffordshirepoetlaureate.wordpress.com/staffordshirepoetrycollection.