Poetry on the platforms

Anna Woodford, Pippa Little and Christy Ducker
26 July 2021

A trip on Metro by a local poet has inspired a new display of thought-provoking verse on the platforms at Longbenton Metro station.

Working in partnership with Royal Literary Fund Fellows at Newcastle and York Universities, Metro-operator Nexus is proud to support the display of four poems reflecting on the pandemic.

They have been unveiled at Longbenton; a busy commuter station used by more than a million customers every year.

Poet Anna Woodford, from South Gosforth, came up with the initial idea. She said: “I was on the Metro for the first time in a long time, feeling nervous but excited about some return to normality and thought that a lot of people were probably feeling the same.

The last year has been a brief window in time when everyone has lived through the same experience and poetry is a good way of acknowledging that, capturing the spirit of how we feel about restarting our lives.”

Nexus agreed to be involved with the project, and with the support of the Royal Literary Fund, Anna approached three other poets to compose a positive poem on the topic of the pandemic.

Pippa Little, Penny Boxall and Christy Ducker joined Anna in writing poems, which have now been turned into huge artworks on display in the Metro Station.

Huw Lewis, Nexus Customer Services Director, said: “Metro has a long history of displaying art on the network, and we were delighted when Anna got in touch about this project, it’s a great idea and the poems look fantastic in the station.

“Placing art and poetry in public places like train stations, where people don’t expect to see it, is a great way of introducing it to the public. I hope these poems will entertain and surprise, provide some inspiration or some comfort and give our customers the opportunity to take a moment of reflection.”

All four poets are employed by the Royal Literary Fund, which places writers in universities to encourage and support students with their writing.

Steve Cook from the Royal Literary Fund said: “We are proud to support many amazing writers across the North East and to help bring their uplifting words to public attention in different ways”.

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Poetry on the platforms at Longbenton

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