ON World Poetry Day, we celebrate one of the world’s most cherished forms of cultural and linguistic expressions of identity.

Today, March 21, marks the annual day of poetry, introduced by UNESCO in 1999.

Since then, we look back on the history of poetry and celebrate creative writing.

St Helens writer and poet Sue Gerrard shares a message with the Star on World Poetry Day.

Sue, born in St Helens, is well-known in the borough for her work and efforts towards promoting and educating locals about poetry and creative writing, with her efforts recently recognised as she was awarded the Pride of Merseyside by Radio Merseyside for her work with poetry.

St Helens Star: The multi-award winning poet and writer was recently awarded Pride of Merseyside The multi-award winning poet and writer was recently awarded Pride of Merseyside (Image: Sue Gerrard)

Having lived in St Helens for most of her life, Sue has worked as a chartered librarian, a journalist, and a lecturer at the University Centre, St Helens.

Sue is currently the Poet and Writer in Residence at Victoria Park, where she runs a ‘Young Writer of the Year’ competition on their behalf, and is also the Poet and Writer in Residence at Lucem House Community Cinema Plus where she runs free writing workshops called The Writing Project.

She has also written several local history books, including 'Secret St. Helens' and her most recent, ‘A-Z of St Helens’.

Her work is admired from many corners of the world, including New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States of America.

St Helens Star: Sue's books are requested all over the worldSue's books are requested all over the world (Image: Sue Gerrard)

Discussing the importance of celebrating World Poetry Day, Sue told the Star: "I think it is important to celebrate the role that poetry plays in our lives.

"It is becoming more popular today as many advertisements are now in poetry and very often it plays a part at special occasions such as weddings and certainly comes into its own on Valentine's Day.

"Poetry can allow us to express our emotions, it can make us think, appreciate, celebrate, and laugh."

'Sometimes' from Sue Gerrard's collection 'Poems from the Cottage' published by Pear Tree Press, New Zealand

'Sometimes the only time

I have to stop and think is

waiting at the traffic lights,

perched on the kerb

waiting for the amber blink

secret wink to say,

ready to go

but what if I want to stay

and think.'

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