The events to launch THIS PLACE I KNOW have been a whole lot of fun and utterly inspiring. Any doubts I might have had as to whether this anthology truly represented the spirit of 21st Century Cumbrian poetry evaporated as, at every event from Maryport to Kendal, Carlisle to Grasmere, poets came to the microphone to read. Immediately we were captivated by the magical combination of words and imagery and the total engagement of each poet with their subject and theme. So much talent. The best poems get to the heart of things so that at the last line you find yourself taking an involuntary sigh because the poem has touched on a particular truth in a new way. That happened a lot!
So, as the roller-coaster ride of events slows down, I am beginning to think about the future for THIS PLACE I KNOW. Here are Kim, Kerry and I being quizzed by Polly Atkin at the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival. A member of the audience asked us about the using the anthology as a springboard to inspire students in Cumbria schools. We have been especially pleased that three young poets, still at school, are represented in the collection. It is an opportunity we shouldn’t miss and I plan to circulate a poetry leaflet among schools in the county to encourage more young people to read and write poetry. We are also hoping to set up a programme of readings around the libraries.
I mustn’t end this post without thanking the organisers of all the events for THIS PLACE I KNOW. In particular I’d like to thank Gwenda and Steve Matthews at the Borderlines Literature Festival, Popply Garrett at The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Paul Scully and Polly Atkin at the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival and Angela Locke at the Maryport Literature Festival. We also had a wonderful party at the Castle Street Community Centre in Kendal. I can’t recommend the place highly enough. The staff were extremely helpful and the facilities there are just perfect.
Special thanks to Grevel Lindop who introduced the anthology at The Wordsworth Trust and the Maryport Literature Festival. I have been grateful for his support throughout the whole process of editing and publishing this anthology.
A big thank you to Olivia Fern who sang so beautifully for us at the Poetry Party.
AND FINALLY A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE POETS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO ‘THIS PLACE I KNOW’ AND WHO HAVE TRAVELLED ALL OVER THE COUNTY, AND FROM BEYOND, TO TAKE PART IN OUR LAUNCH EVENTS. Without you……