‘Poetry Miles’ project sees poems jet-washed onto streets of Darnhill, Deeplish and Langley

Date published: 08 June 2021

Poems have been jet-washed onto the streets of three local communities in a new Cartwheel Arts project called The Poetry Miles.

The project has enabled renowned North West poets Reece Williams, Anjum Malik and John Lindley to have ‘creative conversations’ with three communities in Darnhill, Deeplish and Langley before developing their words into a collaborative poem.

Now jet-washed on to the streets, over the length of a mile, it creates an immersive arts experience that the public can walk along.

Throughout April, Reece Williams engaged with young people from Rochdale Youth Service on the Darnhill estate in Heywood; Anjum Malik had phone calls in both Urdu and English with a group of women from Deeplish in central Rochdale, whilst John Lindley (former Cheshire Poet Laureate, and Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year) phoned and Zoomed with older people from the Langley estate in Middleton.

The project was supported by volunteers and partner organisations in each area: Rochdale Youth Service, Bowlee Pavilion and Deeplish Community Centre.


The Poetry Miles map for Darnhill, Heywood
The Poetry Miles map for Darnhill, Heywood


Danielle Porter, Project Manager, said: “We are delighted with how the project has turned out and we’ve had great feedback from the participants.

“Whilst all three of the poems explore the experience of living through the pandemic, we are being told about it from a range of viewpoints and they explore experiences from contracting Covid-19, getting married in lockdown to the sense of community that was created and new ways of interacting with family and friends.

“We’d love to see the public’s photos of them walking the routes so please tag us in photos @CartwheelArts using the hashtag #thepoetrymiles.”

The poems were installed by Manchester-based international visual artist, Sumit Sarkar, who used his expertise in graffiti art to exhibit the poems on the streets. Maps of where the poems can be found will be distributed across Rochdale as well as appearing on the Cartwheel Arts website and social media.


The Poetry Miles map for Langley, Middleton
The Poetry Miles map for Langley, Middleton


Film-maker, Nick Farimond is creating a short film about the project, that captures each of the poetry miles to bring the project to a wider audience and so that people who may find it difficult to walk the routes can still have access to the poems.

Lucy Holland, Operations and Development Manager at Cartwheel Arts, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding by Arts Council England, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Rochdale Borough Culture Network to create a project that amplifies and celebrates the voices of individuals and communities who might not ordinarily have that platform.

“We know how important getting outside has been during the past year so we are hoping that this project will add something new to people’s daily walks and create a really accessible way of engaging with a high quality arts project.”


The Poetry Miles map for Deeplish, Rochdale
The Poetry Miles map for Deeplish, Rochdale


The starting points for each of the three poems are:

  • Darnhill: Argyle Street Precinct, Argyle Street, Darnhill, Heywood, OL10 3RY (this is a circular route)
  • Deeplish: Deeplish Community Centre, Hare Street, Rochdale, OL11 1JT. End point is Broadfield Park.
  • Langley: Just down from Woodside Medical Centre, Langley, Middleton, M24 5QL. End point is Bowlee Pavilion.

The project has been funded by Arts Council England, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Rochdale Borough Culture Network.

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing news@rochdaleonline.co.uk
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email news@rochdaleonline.co.uk or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online