Lancaster-based poet Benjamin Guilfoyle is lacing up his walking boots for an epic 125-mile hike from Lancaster to Brighouse for his first big poetry tour for charity.
‘The Woolly Hat Poet’, as he’s known, will be stopping in Oldham for one night only on Tuesday 28 May as part of his 12-date tour – and he’s looking a for a bed to lay his head for the night.
His intimate show is all for a good cause as it aims to raise awareness of homelessness and the poet has chosen to raise money for two charities. Every penny from ticket sales and donations for ‘The Wandering Poet’ will be donated to Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service and the Lancaster Children’s Library.
To show his commitment to raising awareness of homelessness the poet will have nowhere to stay each night of his tour. The audience will be in for a shock as he will be sleeping rough unless someone in the steps forward and offers him a bed for the night.
The tour is inspired by Yorkshire’s own Simon Armitage and his Coast to Coast walk in 2015.
To give each show a local voice and recognise upcoming artists, Benjamin will also be recruiting some local talent including poets, musicians and artists.
Benjamin said: “The Wandering Poet tour is all about being kind and doing something for others to make their day a little bit brighter. I want to be able to use my poetry and this tour to make a difference, however small, and to support these two local charities because without support they might not be around that much longer.”
“My poetry comes from a place of happiness. I use my poems to tell stories and to focus on the smaller things in life that we might overlook and those small victories that get us through our everyday lives.”
“My poetry, I hope, will make my audiences laugh and there will be at least one poem in the show that they can relate to on a personal level.”
Oldham Council Leader and Cabinet member for Economy and Enterprise, said:
“This show is a great example of how you can entertain residents and visitors but also raise awareness of a very serious issue like homelessness.
“We commend the wandering poet for his commitment to this cause and we’re really pleased the ticket sales are being donated to charity.
“The tour doesn’t sound an easy task and we wish the best of luck to Benjamin on his journey and hope he enjoys his visit to Oldham and the library.
“We urge everyone to get tickets to the performance and help to raise awareness of rising homelessness across the UK.”
Benjamin heads out on the road on 21 May for a 12-date tour, taking in Lancaster, Garstang, Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Prestwich, Salford, Oldham, Littleborough, Hebden Bridge, Halifax and finally his home, the town of Brighouse.
The Wandering Poet takes place on Tuesday 28 May from 7pm in Oldham Library Performance Space. Tickets are £5. To book your tickets, visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘The Wandering Poet’.
You can also show your support by following Benjamin on Twitter (@woollyhatpoems) and Facebook (www.facebook/woollyhatpoems)