October saw the launch of Perfect Places, a Time-To-Read initiative aiming to encourage poetry reading and borrowing in libraries.
I was delighted to be one of the twelve poets from the North West selected to take part. We each submitted a poem, set in the North West. The poems were illustrated and made into posters, postcards and then shared in libraries, community centres, surgeries and so on. My poem, taken from my forthcoming collection, is titled ‘A Child Dies in Liverpool’. I am aware how bleak that sounds, but was heartened by the selection panel’s decision to accept it. We do turn to poetry at times of distress, I certainly do. Poetry addresses sad and difficult topics. The poster version of my poem is displayed at The Alder Centre, at Liverpool Alder Hey Hospital, where help and support is provided for bereaved families. A poster is also at the Head Office of Child Bereavement UK and in the offices of Dying Matters. I am grateful to the support of all these organisations.
As part of the project each poet gave readings at libraries. I had two very enjoyable afternoons at Blackburn library and Bebington library. Both libraries had full and interesting calendars when it came to hosting a range of literary events. I met some incredibly nice people through this project – and remain inspired by the enthusiasm, passion and commitment shown by librarians.
To see the poster, read the poem and listen to me reading it click here.