Huw Stephens praises Geordie poet’s ‘powerful’ ode to city centre statues

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The poet has breathed new life into the city centre’s statues

A Geordie poet's ode to Newcastle's infamous statues has been picked up by BBC Introducing Arts.

Award-winning poet Daniel Hinds has penned a long poem that breathes life into the city's most famous statues, often forgotten about by passers-by in the city centre.

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The timely piece looks to enter the debate over the role of historical statues with modern-day values.

Host of BBC Introducing Arts, Huw Stephens, labelled the piece "a powerful response to place and how some statues sit at odds with our modern-day values".

Speaking on the show, poet Daniel Hinds said: "The Stone Men of Newcastle is a sequence of poems about the city’s statues and their place in contemporary Newcastle.

"The poems enter the current debate in how we engage with art and history in the form of statues.

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"The sequence concludes with the consideration of the future figures who will be immortalised in bronze and stone."

Daniel HidesDaniel Hides
Daniel Hides

The Stone Men of Newcastle is a sequence of poems told through the eyes of a commuter as he encounters the statues of Newcastle as part of his daily life working in the city.

At one point in the piece, the speaker hesitates to choose which side of Sir Antony Gormley’s vandalised Clasp sculpture to walk past, acknowledging the petitions to have it removed.

At other moments they eat a Magpye on a long lunch break under the St George and the Dragon war memorial at Eldon Square, sweep Greggs pastry crumbs away by The Response and crunch minstrels in front of the Theatre Royal's Mercutio.

You can listen back to the full piece, read by voice actors Dan Pye and Stacey Ghent, on BBC Sounds here from 4:00.

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