Poetry on city centre street thanks to Sheffield’s poet laureate

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Warda Yassin’s poem Weston Park will appear at 158 Charles Street in Sheffield from October 5 to 17. It is part of National Poetry Day which has a theme of choice and organisers say celebrates poetry’s power to connect us after isolation with an inspiring street campaign across five cities.

They chose the Sheffield site so Warda’s words greet us where we live, work and walk. She is a British Somali poet and teacher based at Hinde House School, Shiregreen.

Warda’s debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom won the 2018 New Poets Prize. In 2020, she won The Women Poets’ Prize and is part of Hive South Yorkshire, a hub for young writers aged 14 to 19 in South Yorkshire.

She said: “I love the way I can play with voice, shape and language to capture an angle of the topics which are forever in my psyche: place, domesticity, family, faith and lineage.”

Produced in partnership with creative street advertising specialists Jack Arts, each poem will provide passers-by with the chance to take away a poem to share with family and friends.

A spokesman said: “We have seen through lockdown that poetry can bring us together to reduce isolation, and now National Poetry Day is unleashing its power on our streets.We will be sharing their responses across Twitter, TikTok and Instagram and asking the nation to share their thoughts and poems on why poetry is important to them.

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