Bradford Poets on the big screen for National Poetry Day

September 28, 2017


Poets from across the district came together on Bradford’s big screen today (THU) after going out on location to film their own verse in iconic places across the city to mark National Poetry Day.

Nineteen poets young and old were filmed in City Park, City Library, the Alhambra Theatre and the magnificent Cartwright Hall reciting their own verse. Poets touched on this year’s theme, “Freedom” through a wide range of subjects from family life and growing old to social media.

The poems were recorded in languages other than English including Samar Shadad’s Crossroads of Choice in Farsi and Fareena Khan’s poem Dekho Na Maa (Look Mum) in Urdu.

The Bradford project – in its second year – has been led by Bradford Libraries in partnership with Bradford UNESCO City of Film. The films were produced by local filmmaker Richard Alexander.

All the films will be launched today (Thu 28 Sept) on the big screen in City Park to mark National Poetry Day and celebrate Bradford’s poetic pool of talent.

Project lead, Dionne Hood, Development Officer for Reading and Stock at Bradford Libraries said: “We have such a creative and established network of poetic talent here in Bradford and being able to celebrate this as part of National Poetry Day is really important.

“Our poets are of all ages, backgrounds and from all parts of the city – the filming has been great fun and I hope the people of Bradford will enjoy watching the films on the Big Screen. This project is also a way to celebrate the great work that libraries do with creative writing and showcases poets both new and established”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This is great news for the district and it is good to see our wonderful sites being used for such a prestigious day. National Poetry Day is an annual celebration which inspires people to share their love of poems. It gives people the opportunity to celebrate in their own way so the theme of freedom is most appropriate.”

Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, David Wilson said: “It is fabulous to be working with Bradford Libraries again and combining film with poetry on the big screen – giving our city’s poets the platform they truly deserve.”

Susannah Herbert, director of Forward Arts Foundation, the charity that runs National Poetry Day, said. “Bradford celebrates National Poetry Day like nowhere else, and continues to lead the way in demonstrating just how vibrant, popular and accessible poetry is. This is a thrilling way to showcase the city’s poets and their voices, and we couldn’t be more excited about this project.”

The films will run between 10am and 11 pm on the Big Screen every hour on Thursday September 28th and will then be scheduled in general programming until the end of the year. They can also be viewed on the website from September 28th October:

Details of schedule times for the poems on Thursday 28th September on the big screen:

• 11am, 2pm, 4pm and 8pm – all of the films will be shown at these times
• A selection of the poems will also be shown at 5 mins and 35 mins past the hour throughout the day.