Forget Wordsworth and daffodils. Think SeaLife, Blackpool, Fleetwood beach, gypsies at Stalmine and gulls over guesthouses.
Lindsay Holland (pictured right), published poet and Edge Hill University tutor, set up North West Poets little more than a year ago. It has 100 members. More than 60 of them feature in new anthology Sculpted, Poetry of the North West which made its debut at Liverpool’s Albert Dock.
It includes poets from the Fylde – and others writing about the Fylde.
The anthology is introduced by Blackpool-born award winning poet and Warwick University professor David Morley who draws on Romany roots for his own contribution Clearing a Name.
His latest book The Gypsy and Poet (a sequence of sonnets inspired by poet John Clare’s friendship with a Romany) will be published in August. Morley says homegrown poets “derive clout, gumption and nous from a local habitation and a name. Sculpted is a realisation of a greater North West whose borders are expanding through the many imaginations and voices.”
Morley recently joined Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to judge the TS Eliot Prize which has previously been won by Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Duffy herself. The laureate says: “The North West is a hotbed of poetry. If you want to know read this book.”
And editor Holland concludes: “ Lake Poets might be history but the North West’s poetry scene is alive and vehemently kicking.”
* Sculpted: Poetry of the North West (£10 from http//northwestpoets.wordpress.com).