Poets raise £13,000 in charity Poem-A-Thon

A Poem-A-Thon held in Walthamstow this weekend raised more than £13,000 in aid of MSF UK and the vital work they do in war zones and natural disaster areas. In total, 48 poets read in an eight-hour marathon of poems, with some of the performers coming to London from as far afield as Somerset, Lincolnshire and Cumbria. Others were either locals, Poetry Society Members, or regulars from the [email protected] open mic sessions at the Poetry Cafe. 

Money is still coming in to the JustGiving page and if you’re feeling generous you can still help MSF UK by donating there or encouraging friends and family to give. MSF UK are totally reliant on your donations and every penny helps.

Co-organiser Paul McGrane says:

“We did it! Everyone involved as readers, volunteers, donors, audience, or all of the above, is absolutely amazing, and we raised £11k on the JustGiving page, £885 in cheques, and £593 in cash donations on the day. Thank you to the pub for donating the room for free and giving us a couple of bottles for our tombola. The room was jammed with people for most of the day – standing room only – a delightful surprise.

Among many, many, many highlights and contributions, poet Lisa Kelly made it to the event despite being knocked off her bike on the way, breaking her clavicle, and being taken to hospital. The doctor who treated her had also worked for MSF!

Money is still coming in to the JustGiving page and if you’re feeling generous you can still help MSF UK by donating there or encouraging friends and family to give. MSF UK are totally reliant on your donations and every penny helps. https://www.justgiving.com/teams/PoemAThon”

Jacqueline Saphra, who performed at the event, and was one of the originators of the Poem-A-Thon idea, says:

“Poem-A-Thons will have raised over £70,000 this year. Not only do they provide funds, they provide poetry, fellowship and hope in dark times. If you want to do one where you live, I have all the materials on how to do it. Just ask.”

The performers were Adam Taylor, Al Kenny, Alex Josephy, Alvin Culzac, Bunmi Ogunsiji, Caroline Smith, Cheryl Moskowitz, Christine Vial, Darren Hayman, Deryl C Walsh, Dominique Golden, Ed Doegar, Ella Standage, Emily Raisin, Emma Hammond, Emma Simon, Fatima Kried, Heather Shakespeare, Ilse Pedler, Jack Houston, Jacqueline Saphra, John Riddick, Katherine Gallagher, Katy Evans-Bush, Lara Pawson, Leigh Jones, Lisa Kelly, Maggie Butt, Michael Gold, Michael Shann, Mike Bowles, Mike Sims, Nicola Jackson, Paul McGrane, Peter Daniels, Rachna Chowla, Richard Scott, Rob Thatcher, Roger Huddle, Sahera Parveen, Shalini Dua, Shauna Robertson, Simon Banks, Steve McLean, Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Syed Haider, Tristram Fane Saunders, and Wendy Klein.

There are more photos from the event on www.facebook.com/ForestPoets

On 11 December, there will be another Poem-A-Thon in Brighton, this time raising money for The Refugee Council and The School Bus Project. Visit the Just Giving page for more details https://www.justgiving.com/teams/brightonpoemathon

14 November 2016