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National Poetry Day on 28 September

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is working with cultural partners to offer local people an opportunity to get actively involved in National Poetry Day on 28 September.

Following last year’s packed event at The Life Rooms Walton, the Trust is opening its doors there again to people who want to listen to and recite their own creative pieces. In addition there will also be a bookable poetry workshop at newly-opened The Life Rooms Southport.

The free main event takes place from noon to 6pm on Thursday, 28 September at The Life Rooms Walton, in Evered Avenue off Rice Lane. Mersey Care service users, carers, staff, as well as local writers and members of public are welcome. Guests can drop in any time to listen to the poetry marathon and if they want to read an original work of their own they need to pre-book a recital slot.

There will also be an opportunity to hear from Manchester-born poet Ruby Robinson, who released her debut collection “Every Little Sound” in 2016. Other published writers including Mersey Care’s Poet-in-Residence Pauline Rowe and Crosby-based poet Maria Isakova Bennett will also be appearing.

The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day initiated by The Forward Arts Foundation is ‘Freedom’. Guests are being asked to write a poem on the topic of Freedom and what it means to them. The event is also in the run-up to the city’s World Mental Health Festival in October, co-ordinated by Liverpool Mental Health Consortium.

Michael Crilly, Director of Social Inclusion and Participation based at The Life Rooms said: “Our National Poetry Day event was a great success last year involving not only people who use our many services, but also a wide section of the community and local schoolchildren.

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“We want to welcome visitors to The Life Rooms on National Poetry Day to share and inspire the tremendous creativity that can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.”

The event will also be an opportunity for visitors to learn more about The Life Rooms and how they promote recovery, health and mental wellbeing through a range of life opportunities and courses, including creative writing, for service users, carers, staff and local residents.

Poet-in-Residence Pauline Rowe has been running summer workshops at The Life Rooms and is working with children at Northcote Primary School in Walton and patients at several Mersey Care hospitals in the run-up to National Poetry Day. Taking part in the day will be local charity North End Writers, Mossley Hill Writing Group, Northcote Primary School, as well as other groups.

Maria Isakova Bennett will be hosting a poetry workshop earlier that day at The Life Rooms Southport, situated in Scarisbrick Avenue, Southport, but places are limited so pre-booking is essential.

To book a place to read a poem at Mersey Care’s National Poetry Day main event in Walton, or poetry workshop in Southport, or for more information, telephone the Life Rooms on 0151 478 6556 or Poet-in-Residence Pauline Rowe on 07875 434 292.