Multiculturalism throughout Manchester has been expressed through the form of written art and has been shown in the Manchester children’s book festival on 30th June. The cultural diversity has been expressed through the city in many different ways and on 30th June, many activities and events took place.
The audience was filled with excitement and chatter as Mandy Coe first took the stage by sharing her experiences, saying that poetry should be for children than for adults and that poetry for children is running out and not expressed as much. She then introduced Poetry By Heart where young poets read out poems by heart. She then welcomed four young poets on the stage. Personally, I think this was the best part, listening to other people in our age group reading out poetry, which potentially could inspire us in the future.
Next was the first female poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy. She read out inspirational poetry including the poetry that was banned for the use in schools. The poem talks about violence: a teenager killing, however it has nothing negative but we have to interpret in a positive and meaningful kind of way. She read out a poem that involved the audience: Elvis, Shakespeare, Picasso and Virginia Wolf, adding, “Probably one of the highlights of my life as a poet is standing here and watching people scream Virginia Wolf at me.”
Next up was Imtiaz Dharker. Her poems had a very wide span of unique topics, ranging from pomegranates to being ‘Over the Moon’, which kept the audience hooked to them. Some of the poems she read out were quite amusing, such as the ‘Dabba Dialogue’ or, ‘Tiffin-Box Talks’. This poem in particular was written from the point of view of a tiffin-box. Her choice of words make her poems really interesting and fun to listen to. I personally thought it was a really good experience and a very engaging event.
After the poetry event we went over to the other event taking place. There we watched a one-woman play about a girl called Gabrielle, who lived on a small island in the Caribbean. It portrayed how Gabrielle’s life was like in the Caribbean’s, and how drastically it changed after she travelled to England, on a boat ride that took 20 days. Her new life in England was already off to a rocky start, being cramped on a ship for 20 days, so you can imagine how it must have been later on. It showed her struggle to find a proper job and home amongst the racial Britons of that time.
All in all, it was a very inspirational day. I learned new things, and I’m very happy that I had the chance to take part in such an event.