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The Coppermill Poets, based at The Mill in Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow, are to publish the finished result
Poets are calling on people in Walthamstow to collaborate on a new work telling the history of the area.
The Coppermill Poets, a group based at The Mill community centre in Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow, is appealing for residents to reveal their experiences in E17 which will then inform a narrative verse, entitled The Epic Poem.
Explaining the project, poet Russell Hargrave said: “The Epic Poem is a chance to get normal people, some who like poetry and some who don’t, tell a story of Walthamstow that is grand and can last a long time.
“There are lots of poets and artists in Walthamstow, so we’ll work with some of them, plus we’ll be encouraging teachers to bring kids from their schools.
“It’s a new approach to telling the history of the area. We wanted to do something that had never been done before and get people involved who hadn’t been before.”
The group is asking people to join workshops in November to contribute to the project, which aims to promote community spirit and provide an insight into the area’s distinct character.
Mr Hargrave said: “We want to take that whole idea that you can be proud of something, like Walthamstow, and tell a flamboyant story about ordinary, everyday people.
“Whether you’re a poet or not, whether you know what an epic poem is or not, we’re saying to somebody ‘Tell us something that happened to you which you think is really important’ then we’ll write it up.”
Group leader Jo Davis said the Coppermill Poets are diverse in their poetic interests and styles but everyone unites over a shared love of words.
Of the Epic Poem she said: "Usually an epic is about hugely important kings and gods and their enormous deeds, so to make an epic poem about a small place like Walthamstow is a bit unusual.
"The epics we know of today, like Homer, would have started as folk stories which turned into a single workso we thought it would be nice to do the same."
Those wishing to contribute can found out more at Wood Street Library on November 7, between 4pm and 6pm.
A further event takes place at Walthamstow library on November 17, between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
The project is part of Words Over Waltham Forest literary festival, which begins on Saturday.
The book is scheduled to be published early next year.
The Coppermill Poets meet every Thursday at 7.30pm.
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