Winning poems go on display at Metro station in Newcastle

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Prize-winning poems from a competition run by Nexus, the Tyne and Wear transport authority, have gone on display at a busy Metro station in Newcastle. Last year to mark National Poetry Day Nexus invited poets young and old to submit poems on the theme of ‘Home’. Nearly 200 entries were received and four - one winner and three runners up - are now on display at Longbenton Metro station, which is used by more than one million customers every year, and serves Newcastle’s Freeman hospital. The poems were judged by representatives from Nexus, and poets Anna Woodford and John Challis.

Jenny Carter, from Newcastle, pictured, won the competition with a poem titled ‘Sanddancer’. She said: “All my poetry is about my family, my mam is from South Shields and she was the inspiration behind this one. She cried when I told her about it!” Runners-up were Susan Shepherd, from the Scottish Borders, Helen Kay from Cheshire, and Jane Burn from Consett.

Longbenton Metro station has become a hub for poetry and artworks in recent years. Four poems reflecting on the pandemic were displayed at the station in July 2021. They were replaced by poems on the theme of ‘Winter’ in December 2021, written by previous competition winners. That was followed by artwork by local children, sharing their ideas on making Metro journeys more fun.

Huw Lewis, Nexus customer services director, said: “Metro has a long history of displaying art on the network. 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. We’ve seen a steady growth in interest in the poetry station at Longbenton since we began this project two years ago, and I’ll be fascinated to see how the project develops in the next few years. The standard of poems has been exceptional, and I hope our customers enjoy reading them as much as I did.”

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 16th Feb 2023 08:50

Very good initiative. Poems on public transport bring poetry to many more people.

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