Monday 10 February 2014

Throughout this year to commemorate the fallen of the 1914-18 war the Urban Arts Centre, DJ School, Verbal Arts and Quhwah Publications will be collaborating on a ground breaking project. The local organisations have come together with funds from the Heritage Lottery and local businesses to bring their unique and specific expertise to this very import project.  

  Remembrance Poets is the brain child of Gary Oliver internationally renowned local poet who found fame with his Books Woodun Indians, Dear Love Powa and Contemporary Common Criminal. Gary has worked closely with Jonathan Dale of the Western Front Society and artists attending the Urban Arts Centre in Castlefield Street, Etruria to develop this nationally import project.
  The commemoration will seek to commission twelve poems from local poets for publication in a commemorative audio booklet of written and audio poems inspired by the ideas of conflict and resolution. The project is open to any poets residing in Staffordshire published or non-published. However priory will be given to difficult to reach individuals who have an interest in poetry.  ‘The idea, ’ Gary told Urban News, ‘is that  through researching the War to develop the poetry compositions we can learn about local stories from world histories and develop a wider deeper sense of enlightenment. How did the Great War influence Staffordshire and its people? Do people today know how diverse culturally, in term of people the Great War was and do they know how much it changed the world? We seek to make change locally that’s reflected nationally and vice versa. A Verbal Arts spokesman said ‘There are many stories with in the 1914-18 War that have

resonance locally and chart the influence of the conflict on the local area. We seek to bring them to the fore with this project. Jonathan Dale from the Western Front Society Midlands division said ‘it is very important that we keep the knowledge of this conflict and the memories of the fallen alive so that future generations can learn from the mistakes of the past.

  To be considered for one of the twelve commissions send an example of work with contact details attached to the Urban Arts Centre and the staff at the Centre will contact you if you are successful.  

  Those successful in winning the commission will be mentored by professional poets and researchers with research skills, performance skills and to develop their poetic writing skills. 

  Also, there will be a number of public events starting with a jump off event on the 27th February, where Jonathan Dale from the Western Front Society will give a talk on the Great War and the Midlands. The event will show a film about life in the trenches with actual footage of trench life and Gary Oliver will read Wilfred Owen the celebrated war poet’s work.  Afterwards there will be a discussion about conflict and resolution 1914-2014.   

  The twelve successful poets will also get a free day trip out to the Imperial War Museum and to The National Arboretum. Upon completion of the commission the successful poets will be celebrated in a presentation ceremony and awarded a commemorative copy of the audio book.

  If you are interested in writing poetry and wanting to put yourself forward for the commission or if you know someone who would be interested send a sample of work to:        

Or contact 01782 205675

  If you are interested in attending any of the events please reserve a place on the contacts above as soon as possible as there are limited places available.