Metro marked National Poetry Day in a very different way

Performance poets at Monument Metro station
5 October 2018

The Tyne and Wear Metro has celebrated National Poetry Day with a series of poetry performances across the transport system.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, teamed up with the Poetry Book Society to host the event on Thursday October 4.

There were pop-up poetry performances on busking pitches at city centre Metro stations in Newcastle, at Gateshead Interchange, and on board the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service.

A dynamic range of emerging and established poets delivered performances for passengers, from spoken word poets to school children, and students from New Writing North, Apples and Snakes, The Writing Squad and local universities.

The Poetry Book Society appointed its first ever National Poetry Day Metro Poet in Residence for a digital poetry takeover. The award-winning Sunderland born poet and popular Youtube Vlogger, Jen Campbell, travelled on Metro tweeting poetry and sharing Metro stories on the Nexus Instagram page and on the Metro twitter account @My_Metro.

Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director for Nexus, said: “It was really exciting to work with the Poetry Book Society to surprise and delight our passengers with the help of some of the exciting voices creating new verse today.

“We have a proud tradition of bringing art to Metro and public transport in North East England, and that can mean performances to be experienced and shared through social media as much as visual art on the walls of stations. Metro is part of everyday life in our region, and National Poetry Day is a reminder great poetry can be too.

“This event was step into the unknown. We had not welcomed a poet in residence onto Metro before, but it was a really great day and there were some excellent performers.”

The Poetry Book Society also gave away thousands of exclusive postcards featuring Lemn Sissay’s “Anthem of the North”, commissioned by the Great Exhibition of the North, to celebrate our region’s national role at the heart of positive social change.

Customers were invited to scribble their own postcard poem on the theme of “change” and share them on social media for a chance to win poetry goodies throughout the day.

A selection of the poetry performances are linked below. Click here to see all of them on our YouTube page.

Videos

Ellen Moran from Apples and Snakes

Jen Campbell

Don Jenkins from Apples and Snakes

A young writer from New Writing North

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