Poetry while you wait: students post poems at Dewsbury and Huddersfield stations

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Poems written by adult learners on a creative writing course at Kirklees College have been displayed at Dewsbury rail station. The college joined forces with rail operator First Transpennine Express to display poems in a station waiting room. The poems, which are all on a railway theme, were paired with black and white photographs taken by Batley School of Art contemporary photographic arts student Alex Lalousis, from Mirfield.

Creative writing tutor Rachel Laurence said: “It has been a wonderful experience for all the students to see their work displayed in such a prominent place within the community. It has also been rewarding working in association with First Transpennine Express who have given us such a fantastic space to exhibit the work and whose staff could not have been more helpful throughout the process.”

Will Munton, West Yorkshire station manager for First Transpennine Express, said: "We're committed to supporting the local communities across our network and working closely with local organisations to turn our stations into more than just a waiting room. The poems really add that local touch that visitors will enjoy.”

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff launched the exhibition and met some of the students whose work is featured, including Pauline Walsh from Skelmanthorpe, Jason Ginnelly from Dewsbury and Lindsey Hanson from Batley. She said: "It’s fantastic to see local talent showcased in this way. Using local creativity to brighten up our spaces is something I would like to see more of.” The students were presented with pens by First Transpennine to inspire their next work.

In a similar initiative in Huddersfield, first-year students at Greenhead College visited Huddersfield station to gather inspiration, and write poetry and prose, with their work now on show in the waiting room. Titles of poems include ‘Please listen for further announcements’, ‘Next Stop’ and ‘Welcome to Huddersfield Station’.

Alice Hickman, English teacher at Greenhead College, said: “We hope that the commuters and travellers who come in and out of Huddersfield station will enjoy the poems and images, taking a few moments out of their busy lives for a little quiet reflection.”

Picture shows Kirklees College creative writing tutor Rachel Laurence, student Pauline Walsh, station manager Will Munton, student Jason Ginnelly, MP Paula Sherriff and student Lindsey Hanson, launching the poetry exhibition at Dewsbury station

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