Our story starts in 2012. It was the year of the inaugural Batley Festival where Mark Griffin decided to put on a Batley Poetry Reading. It was to fill the empty Reference Room in Batley Library for a couple of hours. The audience consisted of The Yorkshire Dialect Group, the Gujarati Writers Forum and a few local poets.
Eventually, the group of people who gathered there on Festival Day became known as the Batley Poets and it grew to become a place for local poets to share the words and sentences that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
After just five poetry sessions and a poetry display in Alfred’s Way we launched this website on Saturday 1st April 2017. We wanted to give the poets of Batley and further, the opportunity to share their poetry and allow it to be heard and read long after the Batley Poets events.
Since then, we’ve published over 150 pieces of original poetry from over 50 poets, had three times as many poetry sessions, including ones for International Women’s Day and Interfaith Week. We’ve performed at the Mayor’s Civic Ceremony, Poets in Parliament, at Huddersfield Literature Festival with the Talking Zebras, at the Batley Open Air Service, the launch of Wellsprings Together and a handful of lucky benches across Kirklees, to name just a few.
We’ve visited four Batley High Schools to create a display of students poetry and published a book called Bards of Batley to celebrate 150 years since Batley became a borough.
Our aim throughout the years has remained that same. We want to share, listen and appreciate the different dialects, styles and languages of this millennia old form of literature. We want to highlight the words, sentences and verses that may otherwise have gone unnoticed and be left to gather dust on a forgotten shelf in the corner of a forgotten room. We want to promote our love of poetry and the poets that might never be heard but who have something to say.
If you have a poem to submit, please go to the submit page and follow the instructions. Head to our Events Page for information on what we’re doing and if you have any other queries or feedback you can always email us at email@example.com or Contact Us.
To keep up to date with new posts, events and videos, follow @BatleyPoets on Twitter and Facebook (search for Batley Poets). Don’t forget to subscribe to the site below for regular updates.