The Bradford Poems
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The Bradford Poems


81pp  |  978-1-910367-35-3

Price: £9.95






Gerard Benson was an actor during his twenties, playing in rep with Theatre Workshop and The Century Theatre, also various television roles. He taught for twenty years at the Central School of Speech and Drama. A published poet both for children and adults, he was a member of the performing group The Barrow Poets; was a poet-in-residence during 1994 at the Wordsworth Trust; and was co-founder of Poems on the Underground. He was made Poet Laureate for the City of Bradford in 2008. Though a Londoner at heart, Gerard came to love Bradford.

Public poems are like prayers: they have to be heard, to be accountable. War and peace are themes among the 53 cleverly-crafted poems in this book - villanelles, sonnets, folk ballads, comic turns, the odd indian-style Ghazal. The variety reflects the personal and the public aspects of Gerard Benson. Like the late John Betjemen, he was a poet who thought and felt himself part of a community with a tradition and history worth celebrating. Whether he's observing the seasons, watching mothers and children at Bradford's bus station, planting garlic, making a winter stew, enjoying concerts at St George's Hall or commemorating the Bradford City Fire Disaster, the whole man is there: good humoured, far-feeling, conciliatory.

"Nobody smashed up the telephone kiosk last night/Pray God the local vandals are alright."
- Jim Greenhalf


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