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POEMS AS LANDMARKS.

 

The Gilt of Cain in The City of London unveiled September 4th 2008.

 

Poetry International at The SOuth Bank in October 2006.

Each evening 6.30pm sharp a poem projected onto The Royal Festival hall.

Shude Hill Bus Station, Manchester. September 2007.

 

THANKS for dropping by this page.  The story of how I started making my POEMS AS LANDMARKS is rooted in the belief that poetry is central to what we do. Why don't we see more poetry in the street in the same way that we see sculptor? Manchester being my home for much of my life is were I began.

It happened in a bar in the late nineties. A friend of mine Mark Atwood and the bar manager challenged me to write a poem that they could put on the wall. I got down to write the poem which has become a landmark in manchester. "Hardys well" The poem is at a junction on Wilmslow road in Manchester.Since it was put up in the late nineties there were so many fender benders that the city coucil changed the lights as a traffic calming measure

And then there is RAIN above Gemini Take Away on wilmslow road by Contact Theatre where I was writer in residence for a year. See the picture below. I am proud of this homage to manchester and the source - rain.

See if you can work out what the poem actually says. I like the way this pieces asks the viewer to interact with the building and the poem  When I approached the owners of the wall who run the vegetarian cafe in the middle of the block (see above) of shops they kindly allowed it. It turns out that the husband of the block interviewed me fifteen years ago at Hamburg University in Germany. A few people complained about the satellite dish that was put up after the poem. But I love it. I think of the poem being broadcast through sky. The poem was an original commission by manchester city council for a book about manchester

 

 

 

The theme with transport transports. This was commissioned by Greater Manchester Public Transport Executive. It is titled CATCHING NUMBERS. The design had to be that way as there is a house style apparently. Fair enough. The poem was placed upon the hoardings around what has become the very futuristic and quite beautiful shudehill interchange - testament to manchesters absolute regeneration. Click here to see it.

The hoardings were taken down and

his month November 06 I received a call from Beverley who has overseen the project and who has received letters from members of the public asking to see it again. This has prompted GMPTE to make a permanent display of the piece on the new interchange. Beautiful. It's not up yet.

 

 

On foot there's more - in the heart of manchesters Northern Quater.  This poem I called Flags was commissioned by The northern Quarter along Tib Street in manchester. The street is a mile long and the poem is laid into the street with my signature inlaid at the bottom.  The typeface is made by an artist who lives in the area and the actual stone is fired by majollica works. The poem stretches the full mile of the street. And the signature is inlaid.

Friends of the Earth held a campaign on London buses.This was my contribution on the number  73 then routemaster bus.But when it comes to transport nothing beats the number plate of my aunt Alemash's Vovlvo. I spent all my adult life searching for my family - When I met her she said to me "you will never be alone again. For the past eight years she has called in england me every single sunday from san fransisco.     

 

Alot of people felt the stagecoach bus campaign in manchester was deeply unhip and I shouldn't have done it. I disagree. My poems were put on the buses as part of the campaign.  I felt the picture was a positive image of a black man who worked in the arts. Go figure.