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A Poem For Manchester...

Published on August 26th 2004.

Heaney, Keats, Wordsworth, Hughes, Plaith, TS Eliot, Larkin, Edgar Allan Poe, Gough….famous poets one and all. You can soon add to that list the name of one of 12 Mancunians entered into a competition to find a Poem for Manchester.
Nearly 4,000 poems entered into a competition to find a Poem for Manchester were whittled down to 100 before 12 finalists were chosen by hand by the poet Andrew Motion, who became Poet Laureate in 1999, succeeding Ted Hughes.
Click here to view the poems!
The prize for the winner? Their poem will become etched into a waterwall which will form the main landscaping feature of the new Piccadilly Place development to celebrate all that is Manchester.
The developement will see the vacant and underused land opposite Piccadilly Station transformed over the next ten years to provide a gateway for visitors into Manchester. This means that the chosen poem will take pride of place as thousands of visitors, businessmen and Manchester residents pass by it everyday.
This year’s major arts initiative was organised by property developer Argent and supported by GMPTE, Manchester City Council and BBC GMR. Entries were invited from the broad spectrum of ages that makes up Manchester as we know it, in a historic collaboration of poetic minds.
Click here to view details of the finalists and links to their poems.
You didn’t have to be a poet or even a writer to enter, just someone who could come up with a maximum of 40 words that encapsulated all that we know about our fair city.
The poems have now been perused and pondered over by the best, but now it’s up to you, the people of Manchester, to decide which piece of literary prose should adorn the walls of the Piccadilly Place development.
You can vote online by visiting the BBC’s Manchester website. You’ll find all the 12 poems to read (and listen to!)
The poems from the finalists provide a varied bunch to choose from, with something that will appeal to everybody. They are all also being promoted on posters and hoardings across the city.
David Partridge, deputy chief executive of Argent, said: “We were thrilled that so many people entered our competition to find a Poem for Manchester, and are confident that they will vote in their thousands to select a winner.
“The initiative was intended to involve the people of Manchester in the regeneration of the Piccadilly area and to take new pride in its future, and judging by the response to date, it is succeeding.
“We are looking forward to finding out which the people of this city believe is the best poem, and to seeing it engraved for perpetuity as a focal point for our new development.”
It’s up to you to decide, otherwise you can have no complaints about the poem that will remain forever etched on the walls of Piccadilly Place and in the mind of the Mancunian - so get voting now! Click here to vote.
Voting has now closed and the winning poem will be announced on October 7th – National Poetry Day and the winner will be announced on Manchester Confidential.
Tim Gough

And the Finalists are.....
Take a look at these 12 poetic prosers....

A Poem for Manchester by Jim Taylor

City's Moon by Joe Broady

Manchester by Steven Whaling

Manchester Contrasts by Mark Baxter

in the rain by Mike Duff

Manchester Haiku by Mike Garry

Manchester by Donald Beck

Hard by Flic Everett

Walk by Louise Mulvey

Poem Manchester by Christopher Radcliffe

How To Make Manchester by James Woodward

Manchester by Carole Houlston

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