Ewood Park has been included as a landmark location as part of an eye-catching and thought-provoking public poetry trail, which celebrates post-Covid hopes and springtime inspiration.
Hoping to finally put the pain of the pandemic behind them, the people of Blackburn, Darwen and wider Lancashire are sending clear messages of love, hope and faith in a brighter future, as 30 giant poem excerpts, including 11 public submissions, have been installed across the two towns.
Themes of mental health, community and casting off the shackles of social restrictions loom large across the selected works, which are expressed in unignorable, free-standing, metre-tall letters and ground stencils in specially selected East Lancashire locations.
Each chosen poem has the indelible mark of the pandemic cast across each line and reflects, in some way, on the writer’s personal experience and the search for resilience and recovery.
The poems were judged by poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir of the Poetry Health Service, along with the National Festival of Making curatorial team and artist Luke Jerram, who devised the ‘Of Earth And Sky’ concept, which was first seen late last year throughout Gloucester.
A resonant ‘MISS YOU MATE’, set outside Ewood Park – devoid of a normal matchday since February 2020 – offers a timely comment on sport and community.
Rovers’ CEO, Steve Waggott, said: “In these unusual times, 'Miss You Mate' is a really powerful and emotive message and particularly poignant given that we have been without supporters inside the stadium now for well over 12 months.
“As we look forward with more positivity to welcoming our supporters back to Ewood Park next season, the message has great relevance to the feelings of all connected to Blackburn Rovers."
For the full range of poetry and to download a map to follow the ‘Of Earth And Sky’ poetry trail, please visit http://www.festivalofmaking.co.uk/