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How poetry could put Marsden on the literary map

Special event in the village to spark people's interest

Peel Street in Marsden.

Marsden is vying to become known as the UK’s Poetry Village and will be holding a special event this week.

the newly-formed Marsden The Poetry Village group is showcasing 25 musical poems on Thursday at an event called Poster Poems which coincides with National Poetry Day.

It means poems will appear in village shop windows, pubs and cafes.

David Caldwell, chair of the poetry village steering group, said:”Remarkably, nearly 300 works were submitted to the project and we will be showcasing those selected by the judges.

“We want everyone to come to this wonderful free family event to enjoy poetry, music and discover some amazing stories about our Pennine Poetry Village on a short guided tour. Shops and businesses will be open late.”

There will also be a special exhibition of children’s poems from Marsden Junior School at The Magic Box shop on Peel Street.

Sarah L Dixon will be Poet in Residence at A Month of Sundaes on Peel Street, Marsden, between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday.

Month of Sundaes have a permanent collection of poetry books customers can read.

Mr Coldwell, himself a poet and artist, invited visitors to bring their own Musical Marsden poems in preparation for the Poster Poems tour where there will be opportunities to read aloud.

The short tour round the posters, hosted by the poetry group, begins 6pm.

Visitors and guests are invited to discover places that have inspired famous poems, listen to stories of times gone by and discover locations used in TV and Hollywood productions.

And they are encouraged to look out for Poetry Pebbles along the way – secret stones painted with hints of poems.

Live music will be provided by brother and sister, Cori and Christie Smith, and the local ukulele band Mucipups.

Marsden is home to two famous poets Samuel Laycock and Simon Armitage.

Publishers have already backed the unique initiative by providing books of poetry which now have their own dedicated shelves in the pubs for customers to browse over drinks.

Mr Coldwell added: “The theme for National Poetry Day was Freedom and our event aims to bring poetry out of the shadows into the mainstream.

“We aim to celebrate our cultural heritage and enable people to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy poetry.”

Julian Jordon, a member of the group, heads up the internationally acclaimed Write Out Loud poetry website.

He said:”The initiative has largely grown from our experiences of running the open-mic events of the Write Out Loud nights at Marsden library and the poetry jam.

“This encourages people to realise they can enjoy poetry in all sorts of ways – as the launch will underpin – including books and written work.”

The event is a prelude to Marsden’s Jazz Festival, one of the UK’s longest established jazz festivals, staged between October 6 and 8.

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