hats off

To all the poets, up and down the country, who put in the hours, days, and weeks of hard work which makes poetry events happen. Who find venues, who rustle up funding, who haggle and cajole and sweet-talk and enthuse. Who believe in the transformative power of art, and in words and performance as art. Who give other folk a platform. Who encourage a wealth of different voices. Whose passion for the craft is second-to-none. Who are powered by a sense of what could be possible, and a belief they can make it happen. Who make the world a better place, whether that’s through a whole weekend of poetry for an audience of hundreds (Matt Panesh and Morecambe Poetry Festival, I’m looking at you right now) or occasional open-mic sessions for half-a-dozen people in a smalltown bar of an evening. You foster creativity and community, and you’re bloody marvels, every last one of you. Thank you.