If you think poetry isn’t your thing, then think again… a major drive to spread the word across the Black Country is underway.
Wolverhampton poetry collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists has secured major Arts Council funding for a project hoping to reach new audiences across the region.
Ten local performance poets will be getting out and about in Dudley, Walsall, Great Bridge, Stourbridge and Wolverhampton to talk to people about poetry and share examples of their written work in a broadsheet produced for the project.
The #BlackCountryBroadsheet will also contain links to videos commissioned for each poet, accessible via smartphone or computer.
Poet Steve Pottinger said: ‘This project is all about taking poetry to people who don’t think they like it, who don’t know it’s being written and performed in pubs and clubs around them, and who may never have attended or enjoyed a live event.
‘So, if you’ve got friends who you think might be interested, please tell them about it. We’re doing everything we can to show them the best local, contemporary performance poetry.’
Emma Purshouse • Steve Pottinger
Casey Bailey • Bones • Jeremy Grant • R.M. Francis
Mogs • Dave Pitt • Rick Sanders • Marianne Burgess
The project features five free events, starting in Dudley in early April and finishing at Wolverhampton’s Lighthouse in mid-May. Each of these will showcase four of the ten poets involved in the scheme, and members of the public will be able to read their own poems in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere.
- Dudley: 9 April, Cafe Grande, 7pm – Jeremy Grant, Rick Sanders aka Willis the Poet, Marianne Burgess, Dave Pitt
- Walsall: 16 April, The Pretty Bricks, 7pm – Emma Purshouse, R.M. Francis, Mogs, Bones
- Great Bridge: 19 April, Great Bridge Library, 7pm – Steve Pottinger, Emma Purshouse, Jeremy Grant, Rick Sanders aka Willis the Poet
- Stourbridge: 9 May, Claptrap, 7pm – R.M. Francis, Mogs, Steve Pottinger, Casey Bailey
- Wolverhampton: 15 May, The Lighthouse, 7pm – Bones, Casey Bailey, Marianne Burgess, Dave Pitt
Emma Purshouse said: ‘We want people to see that poetry is something which everyone can enjoy, which will make them think, or make them laugh, and which is written and performed by people like them who live down the road, or just round the corner.’
Follow @PoetsandPrattlers on Twitter to keep up with the latest news…
#BlackCountryBroadsheet is funded by Arts Council England.
Banner image: poet Jeremy Grant
All images © Nicole Lovell Photography
“Excellently framed, excellently delivered. The right amount of peaks, troughs, and misty-eyed bits.” – Edinburgh Free Fringe
“This isn’t just poetry, it’s storytelling, and most importantly it’s theatre. Glorious theatre, framed in a manner which gives space for the work to shine but keeps the audience on the edge of their seats throughout.” – Arena Theatre
“Chaucer with scratchcards.” – Jimmy Andrex, poet