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5th Jul, 2022

Stratford Guild Chapel to celebrate history through poetry

Ian Hughes 20th Sep, 2017

THE INSPIRATIONAL walls of Stratford’s Guild Chapel will be filled with art of a different kind as it plays host to a unique poetry workshop celebrating and exploring its colourful history.

Freedom… (& Beyond) is a site-specific poetry workshop devised, created and led by writers and performers Dave Reeves and Wendy Freeman – performing together as What Lies Beyond.

The event, sponsored by the Falcon Hotel, takes place at the Guild Chapel on National Poetry Day (September 28) from 9.30am to 2pm, with tickets now on sale.

It will be followed later in the afternoon by a free event at the chapel – when the chancel will be turned into a ‘poetry corner’, giving people the chance to read aloud their own poetry or a favourite work, for anyone who visits the Chapel to listen to and enjoy.

Dave is currently Poet in Residence and workshop provider at the Black Country Living Museum, while performance poet and mixed media artist Wendy Freeman has enjoyed residencies and devised workshops at the Forest of Arden Festival, Compton Verney and Riverside Studios in London.

Freedom… (& Beyond) will offer poets and aspiring wordsmiths of all ages and abilities a chance to be inspired by What Lies Beyond… and by the Guild Chapel itself.

With a history dating all the way back to the 13th century, it is home to some of the finest surviving medieval wall paintings in Europe.

Having lay hidden for centuries, some of the best-preserved paintings were the subject of major conservation work last year and are now open to visitors, free for all to see as they would have looked to medieval worshippers half a millenia ago.

Wendy said: “The Guild Chapel is a magical place – full of history and stories and secrets, with captivating imagery wherever you look.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to lead this workshop on National Poetry Day and welcome anyone with an interest in poetry to join us in this intriguing atmospheric venue.”

Tickets to the workshop cost £15 (£10 concessions) and are available from www.stratfordartshouse.co.uk and in person from the Stratford ArtsHouse box office.

All proceeds will go to the Guild Chapel to support its Pounds for Panels appeal – raising funds to allow more wall paintings to be revealed and conserved.

The free poetry corner event will begin in the chapel at around 3pm.

There will also be a ‘Bring and Buy Poetry Books’ in the lead up to National Poetry Day. Books can be left at the chapel – and purchased from the chapel, again with all proceeds supporting the chapel.

Visit www.guildchapel.org.uk for further details.

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