Eyup! As you may have seen, I recently joined poetry organisation Write Out Loud as their new Development Manager. The first challenge on the horizon was applying for One Community’s Match It! scheme, which offered Kirklees-based organisations the chance to have up to £10k in donations match-funded.

Well, we were successful with that application and have since launched this fundraising campaign. Our target is £10k, with the deadline for donations being 31 January. Essentially, we want to take what Write Out Loud has achieved as a volunteer-run organisation over the last 18 years and take it up to the next level.

Our main focuses at the outset will be increased live events (both online and offline), increased educational activity (both online and offline, and both formal and non-formal), and also increased digital content (such as poem-films and podcasts).

There’s a load more information on the campaign page itself. From a personal perspective, I’m extremely excited about the prospect of having one of the country’s leading poetry organisations going from strength to strength in my native Yorkshire.

Ever since I set my sights on becoming a full-time poet back in 2013, I always knew that Write Out Loud was a key resource for events, news, competitions, reviews, etc. I spoke more about this in my monthly column for The State of the Arts at the beginning of November.

Finally, it’s important for me to say that I realise how much of a luxury Write Out Loud is. I’d encourage you to donate to a food bank before you donate to this campaign, for instance. But for many folk, including myself, poetry has been vital for mental wellbeing during a tough year.

We want to be in as strong a position as possible to continue using poetry for good in 2021. So, if you can afford to, please donate to our campaign. And if you can’t afford to donate but like the sound of what we’re doing, please give it a share. That’s all for now. Ta for reading!

poet, educator & activist

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