poetry1Poets from all corners of Bradford have come together to make their debut on the Big Screen to celebrate National Poetry Day with a series of readings set to film.

Performers of all ages came forward to a special filmed session hosted by Bradford Libraries where they recited both old favourites and their own work – some to music and others in fancy dress.

poerty2The Lord Mayor Councillor Geoff Reid was guest of honour, reading the poem ‘Who Am I’ by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The youngest reader eight-year- old Saimah Azmi read ‘I saw my teacher on Saturday’ by Dave Crawley. There were poems read in different languages including Urdu, Farsi, Spanish and one in Yorkshire dialect. Keighley poet Julie Darling played the Celtic harp as she recited her own poem ‘Spring Rising’. Bruce Barnes from the Bradford Beehive Poets braved swimming trunks and a towel for a reading of his poem ‘Mirror Pool’ about the iconic City Park water feature.

Working in partnership with Bradford UNESCO City of Film, music, images and poetry were edited together by local filmmaker, Jimi Lund to create poetry in motion for the Big Screen. The 30 short films will be screened throughout the day to celebrate the city’s poetic pool of talent on National Poetry Day (6 October 2016).

Bradford UNESCO City of Film Director David Wilson said: “We had a huge response to the performance session and we’re delighted to have been able to work with Bradford Libraries to bring words and film together so elegantly.

“I was honoured to be able to perform a reading and chose one of my favourites, JB Priestley’s, “Fountains” which always makes me think of the City Park Mirror Pool.”

Dionne Hood, Development Officer for Reading and Stock at Bradford Libraries said:

“Bradford Libraries are delighted to be working with Bradford City of Film on this special project. Not only does it promote and celebrate poetry for National Poetry Day but it demonstrates the enthusiasm of the people of Bradford for reading and writing poetry. The readers in the films are a range of ages and from varying different backgrounds and parts of our city. The filming was great fun and I’m really grateful to the poetry readers for giving up their time and talent for this wonderful showcase of poetry.”

Susannah Herbert, director of Forward Arts Foundation, the charity that runs National Poetry Day, said: “Bradford’s led the way this year in showing how everyone – whatever their age or creed or language – can enjoy, discover and share poetry. The delight that the whole city has taken in this mass participation celebration is tangible and inspiring.”

The films will run from 9am to 11 pm on the Big Screen every hour on Thursday 6th October and will then be scheduled in general programming until the end of the year. They can also be viewed on the website from Thursday 6th October: