Last week saw the return of the annual Bridlington Poetry Festival with poets travelling from all over the UK and Ireland to the event.
This year’s festival had a different feel to previous years with a focus on getting schools involved in proceedings. Local children were able to perform their own poems alongside the Young People’s Laureate for Wales, Martin Daws.
Sir Andrew Motion was the stand-out name as he performed a number of pieces to celebrate the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.
Afternoon tea with Wendy Cope proved a popular hit with the public as they listened to her perform, on her first ever trip to Bridlington, while enjoying some cake and scones.
The festival gave an opportunity to acknowledge achievements in poetry for some people, judged by one of the UK’s leading poets Don Paterson.
The Philip Larkin Society national prize went to Rob Miles. The Leeds man teaches at the University of Hull and it is his first national accolade.
The East Riding prize was won by Sue Lozynskyj who has been a very active promoter of creative writing for a number of years. The young East Riding prize was awarded to Alexandra Constable from Kirk Ella.
Director of Wordquake at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Dorcas Taylor, said: “The whole experience of the festival was fantastic. I can relate to a lot of the poems read out and they really touch me.
“The aim is to develop audiences for poetry for the future. You never know, one of the laureates may come from the East Riding area.”
Wordquake have been working on organising other projects in the East Riding area such as ‘Poetry on Prescription’ and ‘Parkour Poetry.
Poetry on Prescription involves Ian McWilliams promoting poetry and live literature, a project that has proved highly successful, in sheltered housing and residential care facilities.
Parkour Poetry was set up in the East Riding area as a recognised practice and is a disciplined physical activity.
Parkour comes from the military and involves getting from A to B in the most efficient way possible. The group is ran by trained parkours and gives youth a chance to enjoy themselves and then write about their experiences after.
Mrs Taylor said: “We offer an extensive amount of activities to encourage people to get involved in creative writing and develop a love for literature.
“I would like to thank the East Riding Council because without their help, we wouldn’t be able to put on these events.”