I am a member of Write Out Loud, an organisation bringing poetry to the masses. Sometimes the masses don’t want poetry, but we bring it to ‘em anyway.
In practical terms, what this means is I check the website every day and enter all free competitions. I was a regular at the Stockport monthly WOL meeting until last year, but life got in the way; as well as my fear of reading my writing out loud. Then Julian Jordan, the WOL founder and a very nice man, guilted me into attending the June meeting, and I enjoyed myself so much I am confident I will once more be a regular.
Write Out Loud have meetings all over the country. The aim is simply to encourage poetry performance, and everybody is welcome. I keep a link in my blogroll, so check it out.
WOL works in creative partnership with Bolton University, which is where the title of this post comes in; I’ll let Julian explain:
One day, perhaps all towns will be like Bolton, which had an original poem on display in each of 36 town-centre shops, cafés, hairdressers and the theatre, so as to bring poetry to a wider audience. It was all part of a town-wide arts festival running from 15-21 June [...] The poems were selected from 175 total entries submitted by members of the Write Out Loud website online poetry community which was created in Bolton in 2006. Though most are locally-produced, displayed work comes from as far afield as Chicago…
Other arts stuff was going on, of course; but I am a self-absorbed poet (aren’t we all?) so I was only interested in the fact that three of my poems were selected. I dragooned the Hub and Spud on Thursday afternoon so we could check them out. I know many of you can’t make it to Bolton, or travel back in time, so here is a mini-trail, created especially for you:
Sigh. As usual, my techneptitude slaps my self-promotion into place. Picture no.12 should read:
12. Finally, pose with the warm and friendly man, Ishtiaq: Amore furniture store manager, who offered us tea, coffee and discount on anything we buy, as well as professing to love my poem. The treasure at the end of the trail!
And the tapestry photo should read:
9. Stop to admire the art work.
What a great idea Bolton had; it gave me the best day out I’ve had in ages.
UPDATE: If you can’t read the poems in the photographs and would like to, click on this link.