Ray Johnson’s World Poetry Day Treat For World of Wedgwood Visitors

Ray Joohnson
Ray Joohnson

Visitors to World of Wedgwood had the unique opportunity to hear a celebration of World War I poetry read by Professor Ray Johnson MBE this week, to mark World Poetry Day (21st March) and enhance their experience of Resonance, which is currently appearing at the Wedgwood Museum.

Resonance, the exhibition examining the way in which the Great War affected Britain and especially the people of North Staffordshire, will be running at the Wedgwood Museum until May 6th. The exhibition has appeared at museums and galleries across Staffordshire but it features a larger range of World War I archives, objects and documents at the Wedgwood Museum. The exhibition has been developed by the Staffordshire Museums Consortium with funding from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts fund.

Professor Johnson read a selection of 11 poems by acclaimed poets including Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling and John McCrae, with a number of performances given throughout the day in the Wedgwood Museum’s Atrium.

March 21st was proclaimed World Poetry Day by UNESCO during its 30th session, which was held in Paris in 1999. One of its main objectives was to support linguistic diversity through poetry and offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. It was also created to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals and promote the teaching of poetry.

Heather Broadhurst, General Manager at World of Wedgwood, said:

“Professor Johnson is renowned for his knowledge of and passion for Staffordshire’s social history, so we were honoured when he agreed to give these readings for World Poetry Day linking to our Resonance exhibition. We had wonderful feedback from visitors who all very much enjoyed Ray’s delivery of a very poignant collection of poems.”

Professor Ray Johnson MBE added:

“It was a privilege to present such powerful and moving poetry in the Resonance exhibition hall at World of Wedgwood on World Poetry Day. I was able to specifically reference four items in the exhibition itself and also the Peace Medallion of 1918 given to the 167 workers from Wedgwood who volunteered for war service alongside Major Cecil Wedgwood in 1914. The generous acoustic of the hall added an audible ‘resonance’ to the wonderful visual collection of ceramic pieces and other items in the exhibition.”

For further information about World of Wedgwood and the Wedgwood Museum please visit the website at www.worldofwedgwood.com. Alternatively call on 01782 282 986 or email info@worldofwedgwood.com.