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Waxing lyrical over poetry day success
9:50am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
SWARMS of poetry fans from all over town celebrated National Poetry Day yesterday with the launch of Swindon’s Poetry Festival.
The three-day event started off with a bang with activities to promote Swindon’s vibrant poetic community.
Dozens turned out to the Separate Ways event, where poets read work inspired by paintings displayed in the Museum and Art Gallery on Bath Road.
Hilda Sheehan, one of the festival organisers, said she was inspired by the painting Separate Ways.
She said: “I just felt it was the most striking painting in the gallery and had the best narrative of the paintings in the gallery. It just leant itself more to poetry.
“I was really inspired by this painting and I just thought it would be really great if we looked at writing about the great art in the gallery. I just think it’s a marvellous thing that we have here in Swindon.”
The event also marked the launch of an anthology of poems – also called Separate Ways – published by local group the BlueGate Poets.
Hilda said: “BlueGate Poets was set up in 2008 and we run regular workshops and events to help raise the profile of poetry and to celebrate Swindon. We have quite a vibrant community of poets.”
Many of the pieces in the anthology were composed after a workshop during the Festival of Literature over the summer led by American-born poet and teacher Tamar Yoseloff, who also read some of her own work at the event.
Tamar said: “I think it’s great that Swindon has a poetry festival. Swindon seems to be a very dynamic place for poetry and there are a lot of people reading and writing poetry. It just takes a few people to bring something like this together and make it a really good event.”
Visitors will be able to take part in workshops, readings, talks and activities until Sunday, when a Festival Finale will take place from 7.30pm at the Arts Centre packed with poems, stories, music and more.
Among the main attractions will be Roger McGough and a Vintage Bus Tour of the town, which sold out last year.
Visitors will be able to see the best of Swindon while cruising along to poetry and historical nuggets before ending up at the Richard Jefferies House and Museum for refreshments and a tour.
There will also be an event that will see poets from along the M4 corridor park up at The Platform to share poetry from London to Llanelli and everywhere in between.
For more, visit swindon festivalofpoetry.co.uk or pick up a programme from the Arts Centre.
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