A Celebration of Poetry

The following forward was written by Mark Abraham and published in the booklet "A Celebration of Poetry", which was put together during 2007 and finally published in 2008 by the Chorlton Arts Festival. The publication came into being after a year long competition of local writers from the Chrlton-Cum-Hardy area in South Manchester.

Personally, I do not like poetry competitions, indeed competitions in general. In this I am not alone. They clearly work for marathons, but for any artistic endeavor they mean very little. The 'best' poem is picked out by a chosen expert, the one piece, in fact, which he or she just happens to like the most. All the other entrants simply disappear. So in 2007 we tried an experiment, an experiment which was more than just successful! Instead of the usual poetry challenge, Chorlton Arts Festival organized a 'celebration' of Chorlton in verse. There were to be no losers. Everyone who took part would win.

As a result we had well over 20 entrants (more than in previous years) and all poems were of a high standard! A few poets even sent in three or four pieces, and out of these we chose verses most appropriate to the area. There were also two short sections of prose, both of which, as you will see, are quite moving. The whole collection certainly gives us a sense of Chorlton itself, which is exactly what we hoped for.

On the first Saturday night of the Festival 2007 most entries were performed by the writers themselves to a packed audience at the Lloyd's Hotel, and it was also planned that a booklet would follow which could be available at outlets across South Manchester. This is the publication you now hold in your hand. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Chorlton is one of South Manchester's more vibrant communities, and this is reflected in the Festival which grows bigger every year. We hope that this collection expresses the range of local voices, both young and old, heard today in the streets, houses, bars, shops and schools of Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

March, 2008

Click the link below to read more about the poet
More about Mark

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