Poet Laureate to lead BBC Radio 4 programme marking 200th anniversary of Peterloo

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Carol Ann Duffy is to lead a host of performers in a special BBC Radio 4 programme marking the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

A Poet Laureate's Peterloo, presented by Barnsley poet Ian McMillan, will feature the outgoing Poet Laureate together with brand new commissions from the Mercury nominated singer-songwriter ‎Kathryn Williams, the poets Clare Shaw and Mark Pajak, and from Duffy herself.‎

Each will offer 21st century responses to the events of August 16th 1819 in Manchester, when a peaceful pro-democracy rally, made up of thousands of men, women and ‎children, was attacked by an armed cavalry. Eighteen people were killed, and hundreds injured.

The programme will be recorded on July 30th at Friends Meeting House in Manchester, where you ‎can still see a wall that witnessed the massacre.‎

Also appearing will be Robert Poole, Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire and author of ‘Peterloo'.

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