The Great West Midlands Poetry Relay

In this photo: Phillip Monks (poet #2), Jonathan Davidson (Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands) and Emma Purshouse (poet #1) outside Burton on Trent Library.

The challenge: Writing West Midlands set the challenge of taking ten poets to ten locations across the West Midlands region in the spirit of sporting greatness. This event was to be their organisation’s contribution to the West Midlands Cultural Olympiad Open Weekend programme of events.

Inside the minibus we were accompanied by Monty Funk who were audio documenting the day’s events. Here is the Monty Funk Productions podcast of the Great West Midlands Poetry Relay – featuring a map of the route we took, details of the ten poets we drove across the region and how the day panned out through poetry.

On a bright sunny (thank goodness) day in July that took us over 360 miles in a 17 seater mini bus, and after a 5am start, our team of Lauren Davies, Johnathan Davidson, Sara Beadle, Joanne Penn and Bob the minibus driver set off to Stoke on Trent stationto begin collecting the first of ten local poets from ten locations around the West Midlands. This was a stand out favourite of all our projects so far as it combined lots of logistical planning and organisational detail to get the route right with encouraging high energy performances from our poets on the day. Absolutely knackering but completely worth it.

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