17th May, 2021

Spirit of the Bard celebrated by rail passengers along Shakespeare Line

Laura Kearns 25th Apr, 2021

THE SPIRIT of Shakespeare will be celebrated by rail passengers along the Shakespeare Line.

Some 18 poets from across the Midlands have been commissioned to pen an ode for each local station on the line, which connects Stratford to Birmingham city centre.

Birmingham’s poet laureate Casey Bailey is also writing a celebratory piece for the whole line with its diverse communities and Shakespearean heritage. It will be launched on Friday (April 23) – the Bard’s birthday – with poems for other stations following.

The project is being funded by West Midlands Railway and is being delivered by The People’s Poetry Project ran by Black Country poet collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists.

Steve Pottinger from the collective said: “This project will bring together diverse voices from the Midlands poetry scene to celebrate and champion the Shakespeare Line.

“It will highlight the work done by volunteers at the stations, encourage people to explore the hidden gems along the line, and inspire folk to try writing their own poetry too.

“We’re delighted to be working with West Midlands Railway to make it happen.”

West Midlands Railway head of community Fay Easton added: “The Shakespeare Line is a wonderful example of the community spirit the railway can foster with every station on the route formally adopted by a small army of volunteers who will be thrilled to see poems published on art boards at their stations.

“Poetry can bring people together and we are so pleased to have been able to support this project, celebrating our communities in a powerful and engaging way while putting a smile on the faces of our passengers.”

Visit www.pandemonialists.co.uk for more information.

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