Tony Walsh gifts poem This Is The Place to people of Greater Manchester
Poet Tony Walsh is gifting usage of his poem This Is The Place to a charity supporting communities in Greater Manchester.
The verses captured the response of the city after a terror attack at an Ariana Grande show last May killed 22 concert-goers.
The poet, who writes under the name Longfella, recited the piece at the vigil for the victims of the bombing at Manchester Arena and later at the One Love Manchester concert and it came to symbolise the defiant response to the attack.
Walsh has announced he is gifting usage of the work and associated royalties to the Forever Manchester charity, which initially commissioned it in 2013, to support grassroots community activity.
He said: “This Is The Place has entered the fabric of the city in a way an artist can only dream of.
“Every day I receive a request to use the poem in all sorts of different ways and people stop me in the street to tell me how it has helped or affected their lives.
“It feels only natural to continue to use the poem to help a charity that really makes a difference to the people of Greater Manchester.”
The poem has already been used to make a book, a record, a piece of artwork and been used on buildings across the city and has raised more than £150,000 for Forever Manchester, the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s homelessness fund.
Nick Massey, chief executive of Forever Manchester, said: “Back in 2013 we asked Tony Walsh to bring our cause to life, to give it a voice and a personality to our local communities.
“What we got back was the amazing poem This is the Place.
“But it was never intended to mark a moment in time, it’s a poem that should always remind us just how important our local communities are, in bad times, sure… but perhaps more importantly, in good times too.
“Communities matter now more than ever. Let’s recognise their value and make sure that we nurture them and play our role in ensuring they thrive, now and forever.”
The poem will be available for free for educational purposes in school libraries and colleges but businesses will be requested to make a donation to the Forever Manchester charity in accordance with their size and usage.
Profits from any requests to produce merchandise will also benefit the charity.