WHARFEDALE Poets are looking to form a partnership with the Ilkley Manor House to bring poetry and the spoken word to the town, the whole year round.

Established in 2010, Wharfedale Poets have been a fixture on the Ilkley poetry scene for some time, appearing at several Literature Festival Fringe events and publishing four anthologies to date, in addition to the activities and publications of individual members.

The Manor House is, of course, considerably older but its recent re-launch as community asset providing a cultural centre for Ilkley provides a great opportunity for a partnership and this is being seized upon in a number of ways.

Firstly, a permanent ‘Poets’ Corner’ will be established at the Manor House. This will be a small library of books and pamphlets and anthologies recently published by poets living in Wharfedale and nearby. As well as copies available to read in the Poets’ Corner, the books will be available to purchase.

The Poets’ Corner will be launched on the weekend of April 6 - 7, with Wharfedale Poets making pop-up appearances for readings and discussion between 2 and 4pm on Saturday afternoon.

The second strand will be readings and open mic events throughout the year.

“We’re aiming to hold these events more or less quarterly,” said Mike Farren, one of the group’s members. “There’s a beautiful space for poetry in the Manor House, with wonderful acoustics. Readings there are going to be special.”

The first evening, on Thursday, April 11 at 8pm, will feature readings from the Wharfedale Poets themselves, followed by an open mic, during which poets in the audience will be invited to contribute a piece. Tickets at £8 (including complimentary glass of wine or soft drink) are available from Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-at-the-manor-house-tickets-58749583586 or on the door.

Future events will feature other groups from the local area. “Ilkley is strongly linked with literature and poetry through the Literature Festival,” said Farren. “This gives a wonderful outlet for the abundance of writing talent in and around the town. However, it’s important to nurture that talent and give it an outlet throughout the year. With the help of the Manor House, we’re looking forward to doing precisely that.”