Ian McMillan has become the first patron of a poetry scheme in the East Riding.
Poetry on Prescription is a new project organised by Wordquake – a library service scheme aimed at promoting reading and live literature events in the East Riding. The poetry project is linked to Bridlington Poetry Festival, which takes place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 June.
Ian is well-known to poetry lovers and radio listeners as the Bard of Barnsley. A poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster, Ian has worked as Yorkshire TV’s investigative poet and Humberside Police’s beat poet. Ian hosts the weekly show The Verb and Proms variation Adverb on BBC Radio 3. He is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and writes a monthly column in Dalesman magazine.
As part of his involvement in the festival, Ian will be taking his poetry out into the community and performing in some of the East Riding’s residential care facilities, bringing carers and the cared-for closer together through poetry, humour and conversation.
Dorcas Taylor, director of Wordquake, said, “It’s great having Ian involved in Poetry on Prescription. Ian is not only very knowledgeable about poetry, but he is also very good at reaching out to people.
“Part of what we want to do is to make poetry something people can relate to and use in their everyday life. Sometimes poets have a way of expressing ideas and feelings in ways that immediately strike a chord inside and this can be very positive when we our lives are so busy or we are struggling to make sense of something that has happened to us.
“Ian is planning to go out into the community and visit some of our residential homes to help people start thinking about poetry in a different way. He will be more than an official figurehead; he’ll be doing something practical and creative for the benefit of the local community.”
The workshops aim to give staff and residents a new way to connect with each other the festival hope that some participants will be able to attend the launch of Bridlington Poetry Festival, at which Ian will be speaking, at Sewerby Hall on Friday, 14 June.
Ian said, “I’m very excited to be the poetry doctor on the Poetry on Prescription scheme; it shows the commitment that Bridlington Poetry Festival has to written and spoken word in all its forms.”
For more about Bridlington Poetry Festival, visit www.bridlington-poetry-festival.com
Bridlington Poetry Festival and Poetry on Prescription are supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts (Libraries Fund).