World Poetry Day – A Mancunian Focus

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WORLD Poetry Day often focuses on the most prevalent figures in the most misunderstood genre of writing.

Away from the Bukowskis, the Whitmans and the Shakespeares of the world, Manchester has a particularly unique history with the art form – and a burgeoning contemporary scene.

Select Mancunians – native and adopted – manage to interlace magic with words spectacularly.

When considering Manchester’s history with poems, one particular writer springs to mind. John Cooper Clarke, with his particular brand of “punk rock poetry,” released via albums in the middle of the thriving punk rock scene and enjoying a unique crossover success, Clarke’s personal, political and social circumstances influenced his writing to the point of mainstream success that has allowed him to become renowned as one of the most well-known poets working today, Clarke’s work offers a commentary on the chaos of the city.

Whilst Clarke was born and bred Mancunian, Glaswegian born Carol Anne Duffy has become an integral part of the city’s creative fabric. As Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, she has lived in the city for over 20 years now. The starkly feminist voice provides a standout “jumping on point,” for GCSE students nationwide since been introduced to the syllabus.

Inspired by the gothic, Manchester’s Rosie Garland has five collections of poetry. Her most recent collection ‘As In Judy’ “addresses issues that need addressing, and imagines the inner and outer landscapes we all inhabit with expression and grace.”

Local writer Anna Percy, co-founder of feminist collective Stirred Poetry, who host regular nights at the Three Minute Theatre in Affleck’s told us how poetry has improved her life:

“Poetry has saved my life many times over,” she enthuses.

“I strongly believe that poetry is for everyone, which is why we put on a diverse range of poets at Stirred Poetry. We want people to find a form of poetry that they love.”

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Will is Quays News online editor. He looks after and organises content from entertainment, as well as overseeing the sites sport and news output.

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