Polish poetry celebrated in Hull

A unique poetry space will open this weekend in Princes Quay Shopping Centre to celebrate and give voice to the Polish community in Hull. Over the last few months, Polish poet Bohdan Piasecki has been taking his quirky Pop-up Poetry Station around Hull to gather stories and write poems with the community as part of Hull Gada, a project for 2017.

The Shop Of Poems will display Bohdan’s work from 24 to 30 September. Visitors to the space can sit down with a book of Polish poems in English translation, write their own text to add to the collection or catch a poetry workshop. And Bohdan is encouraging everybody to visit the space to discover something new about Polish culture.

Bohdan said: “Hull Gada is a fantastic project. I get to talk to people, get to know their stories, and offer them brand new poems in return. This is poetry at its best, there on the street, made by the city, jotted down by me.

“I have been talking a lot to members of the Polish community, but not exclusively, and that’s very exciting. We don’t get to shape many writing projects, us Poles, especially not ones that will make our stories heard on the other side of the language barrier.”

Two poetry workshops will be available in the space – the first taking place on Sunday 24 September from 11am (available to anyone over the age of 16), and the second taking place on Saturday 30 September (suitable for all ages). No experience of poetry is needed and the workshops are suitable for Polish and English speakers alike.

The finale of Hull Gada will see two free live poetry shows at Kardomah 94 on Saturday 29 September. Starting at 2.30pm and 3.15pm, the shows will feature Bohdan Pieasecki, Weronika Lewandowska, Wojciech Cichoń and a variety of Hull-based Polish poets discovered over the course of this project.

The Hull Gada project is supported by the British Council and the Polish Book Institute and is also part of Contains Strong Language, a new festival of poetry and spoken word presented by Hull 2017, Humber Mouth and the BBC.

Martin Green, director of Hull 2017, said: “There is a strong Polish community in Hull and Hull Gada has seen internationally renowned poets performing alongside some of the most exciting spoken word performers the city has to offer. Thanks to the support of the British Council, it has offered a taste of what can be expected from the wide-ranging programme being put on for the Contains Strong Language festival, which starts next week.”

The Hull Gada Shop Of Poems will be open from Sunday 24 to Saturday 30 September between 11am and 6pm and is located on the second level of Princes Quay Shopping Centre.