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A Poet Laureate’s Peterloo

Outgoing poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and other writers respond to the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. Presented by Ian McMillan in front of an audience in Manchester.

Poetry and song specially commissioned to commemorate The Peterloo Massacre - curated by the outgoing Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and presented by Ian McMillan.

The Peterloo Massacre was the name given to a peaceful pro-democracy rally which took place on August 16th 1819, made up of around fifty thousand men, women and ‎children, who were attacked by an armed cavalry; eighteen people were killed, and hundreds injured. The ‎massacre inspired art and poetry at the time, including ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ by Percy Bysshe ‎Shelley. The aspirations of the protesters and the shock of their violent repression still resonate with writers and artists today.

Ian McMillan welcomes poets Carol Ann Duffy, Clare Shaw, Mark Pajak and singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams to perform their new commissions in front of an audience at Friends' Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester (the wall on the southern side of the building is only piece of infrastructure that would have been at the site of the massacre, and is mentioned in witness accounts). He is also joined by Professor Robert ‎Poole - author of a new study of Peterloo: 'Peterloo: The English Uprising'.

Presented by Ian McMillan
Produced by Faith Lawrence

25 days left to listen

28 minutes

Last on

Saturday 23:30