Hope you had a merry little Christmas - and that things can only get better in 2021
Write Out Loud would like to wish all our regular readers and friends a happy Christmas and a much better new year - wherever you are (maybe somewhere you didn’t intend to be), and whoever you’re with (maybe with far fewer people than planned). And especially if, for whatever reason, you have ended up on your own this Christmas. We have been looking back on a year like no other, for everyone. It’s been a year in which poetry has provided inspiration, consolation, and comfort. It’s also been a very significant year for Write Out Loud, in which we staged a remarkably successful competition – supported by actors from TV’s Casualty - to find poems that reflected your feelings about the pandemic, with 2,300 entries, and raised £8,000 for our hard-pressed NHS at the same time. We ended up with a rather special, high-quality anthology that we believe will be seen as an historic chronicle of the first, shocking months of the Covid era.
Later in the year we welcomed leading performance poet and poetry promoter Matt Abbott, who has joined our team as development manager. He has spearheaded another fundraising campaign, to help us improve the things we do for you. Many thanks for your response so far, and the messages of support that you have left on the Crowdfunder website. That Crowdfunder appeal – all donations should go there for now, rather than via our Donate button - will carry over into 2021, until the end of January.
Our regular Write Out Loud nights – at Sale, Wigan, Bolton, Stockport and Woking – have continued online, thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of comperes and organisers Sarah Pritchard, Ian Whiteley, Jeff Dawson, John Keane, Greg Freeman and Rodney Wood.
And our link with Lily Lane primary school in Moston, Manchester – where our board member Julia Clark is headteacher, and our former board member, the effervescent Louise Fazackerley is poet-in-residence – is continuing to provide us with moments of inspiration. Here’s young Adam Mustafa from year 6 with his trenchant view on 2020. And really, in so many ways, who could disagree with him?
by Adam Mustafa
Dear 2020, I’m writing to tell you
how much I hate you.
You took me away from school
and you spread germs
so I couldn’t use the pool.
I can’t do a horse ride
‘cos I’m stuck inside.
Dear 2020, I hate you so much.
I hope 2021 will be your friend.
And I can’t wait for the year to end.
MAIN IMAGE: FROM YEAR 5 DISPLAY, LILY LANE PRIMARY SCHOOL