Award-Winning poet Dominic Berry performs for World War One poetry celebration at Chester Library

Local residents can enjoy a performance by award-winning poet Dominic Berry, as he joins Chester Library to celebrate a successful series of workshops based around World War One.

New and aspiring writers have been taking part in a series of free poetry workshops, a strand of Cheshire’s Great War Stories – looking across historic Cheshire to commemorate the First World War.

Remembering both soldiers and those left behind, the workshops focused on the themes of ‘Serving Your Country’, ‘On the Home Front’ and ‘Tender Loving Care’.

Run by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Chester Library, in partnership with Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, the Heritage Lottery-funded workshops ran throughout May, June and July.

New and aspiring writers and residents had the opportunity to work with Dominic, who has previously worked on the “Mabel’s War” strand of Cheshire’s Great War Stories, and used original archives and local studies material from the Cheshire Record Office and Chester Library to inspire their imagination through poetry.

The celebration evening will take place at Chester Library on Wednesday, July 30 from 7pm and will round off the workshops and include a performance of some of the poetry created in them.

Poet Dominic Berry said: “These sessions have been an absolute joy – we have had some participants who have been writing creatively their whole lives and others who haven’t put pen to paper like this since they were at school.

“All have been so supportive of each other, so focused and committed and produced wonderful, provocative, inspired work I am proud to have been a part of helping craft.

“The folks from the archive department have brought us such rich source material – it has been a poet’s dream to have this wealth of material to draw ideas from. The friendliness and desire for us all to do our best has driven every meet up and I can’t wait for our launch event.”

Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Stuart Parker, said: “This series of workshops was a unique opportunity for local residents interested in our borough’s rich history to come and find out more about the real-life situations families found themselves in throughout World War One and has been a real success.

“Workshop participants of all levels took part and created their own work whilst sharing ideas and tips with poetry experts and I’m sure the celebration evening will unveil some real local talent.”

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