Thursday, October 09, 2008


With thanks to Newsquest (Essex)Limited

Whether we are aware of it or not, rhyme and rhythm run through so many aspects of our daily lives in the form of poetry, music, prose, work and relaxation. We can’t fail to notice that this Thursday 9th October is National Poetry Day and around this time annually there are some mighty big celebrations happening in pubs, theatres, schools, workplaces and, of course, in Essex libraries.

Already the organisers of The Essex Poetry Festival have set in motion many writing workshops, readings, and live performances, many of them free, and thirty of the nation’s best known poets have been invited to take part.

Last Friday, Brentwood Library was the setting for a rather special poetry workshop organised by the professional librarian and poet Anne Welsh. Inspired by materials within Brentwood library, Anne shared some of the tricks of her trade as a professional librarian in tracking down fresh inspiration through physical and online libraries in Essex and beyond. She had no trouble in attracting not only lovers of verse, but prose writers and even a journalist or two! This successful evening was superbly organised and hosted by Dean Randall in Brentwood Library:

He said: “I found the event a real eye opener, the poetry produced during the evening was to a very high standard. It was great to see poets from different groups coming together giving each other encouragement and striking up new ideas and inspiration which - after all - was the objective of the event. Very pleased that it went down so well and Anne worked very hard on the evening and creating the handouts and exercises, which were, designed to engage all levels. I enjoyed it and I know the participants did, too. ”

The Big Day of Poetry is scheduled for Saturday 11 October at the Cramphorn Theatre, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford starting at 1pm with an evening programme at 7.15pm. Well-known and national favourites such as Michael Horovitz, Patience Agbabi and Jo Bell, Adrian Green and Frank Dullaghan are among a whole list of poetry luminaries. There’s also a chance for budding bards to take the stage at the Open Mic. For Box Office details Tel: 01245 606505. Information about other Essex Poetry Festival workshops and Readings throughout this special month can be obtained from booklets in all Essex Libraries.