The Batley Poets have held two events this year to mark Interfaith Week 2019.
The two-hour events, in Batley and Huddersfield, were held to bring together a diverse group of individuals and poets to share in the universality of poetry that binds them all.
A now-annual event for the group, Batley Library saw around forty people attend on Saturday 16th November, many of whom shared poems they had written or enjoyed reading. There were multiple debutant poets in the crowd that stepped forward to share their words and sentences for the first time.
This year also marked a successful first Interfaith Poetry Event by the group in Huddersfield, which took place at the Indian Workers Association (IWA) on Friday 15th November and was hosted by Sophie Patel.
Following on from the launch of their Bench Poets project earlier in the year, the Batley Poets have looked to explore outside their normal Library surroundings to try and engage with the forgotten ‘bedroom poets’ they want to give a voice to. Working with the IWA to put the event on is hoped to be the beginning of many ventures out of their comfort zone.
Adding to a growing trend of poetry being utilised to bring people of different faiths and cultures together these events highlight the positive impact poetry can have on communities.
Speaking about the event, Batley Poet and one of the Directors of Batley Smile, Mohamed Saloo, said:
“Poetry is a wonderful vessel to bring people together. Its diversity is as vast as the diverse communities we live in and becomes an ideal way to share and appreciate our differences.
The Batley Poets sessions always have laughter, tears and share thoughts which otherwise remain unheard. We heard poems in English, Urdu and Punjabi and broke new ground this year with the event in Huddersfield.”
“I would like to thank all those who helped to organise and make the interfaith events this year even bigger than before, leaving memories we can all cherish.”
“Batley Poets would especially like to thank Bilal Saloo for organising the events, Mohammed Variava for hosting the event in Batley, Sophie Patel for hosting the event in Huddersfield as well as the Indian Workers Association in Huddersfield and Batley Library providing the venues for the event.”