Sharing Stories Poetry Slam – October 2020

To celebrate National Poetry Day on 1st October 2020, staff, students, alumni and children from Blackburn Children’s University were recorded reading poems in an online Poetry Slam.

The poems were on the theme of war and/or childhood and some poems were written specially for the occasion. They have been compiled in a commemorative booklet which you can read here.

Participants were joined by Janey Colbourne, who is a performance poet, freelance non-fiction writer and the curator of Rise! Spoken Word at The Bureau Centre for The Arts, Blackburn. For more information about Janey Colbourne’s work, you can email Janey herself at or contact her via social media:

Twitter @JaneyColbourne / Instagram @janeycolbournepoet

Special thanks to Steve Irwin from Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, retired staff member Jenny Billingsley and Mary Lee-Slade, former student of BA (Hons) English Language and Literary Studies. Thank you to the children of Blackburn Children’s University and to Sara Burton for organising the children’s recordings.

Many thanks to Liesl Burkhardt for producing the booklet and to everyone who took part in our virtual Poetry Slam. We hope you enjoy the readings!

Val and Sandra

Poetry Slam October 2020

Listen here to our alumni, Mary Lee-Slade, who is one of the co-founders of the Poetry Slam events at Blackburn University Centre. Mary talks about her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literary Studies, her progression to a higher degree at Lancaster University and her future career.