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Finding the Poetry of the Cotton Famine: Workshop


This fascinating interactive workshop, led by researchers on the AHRC-funded Poetry of the Lancashire Cotton Famine project, will guide participants through the newly-established database of the poetry, and provide context to this significant part of the region’s history. Cotton Famine poetry represents several hundred individual texts, and it was written largely by ordinary Mancunians and Lancastrians, and published in local newspapers. These poems reacted to the extreme poverty caused by the mass-closing of cotton mills in the region when the Union blockaded Confederacy cotton exports during the American Civil War (1861-65). The poetry, in standard English and dialect, is by turns moving, angry, and funny, and ranges through themes such as slavery, politics, war, homelessness, poverty, and charity. Come and find out what ordinary people thought about these global events, and why there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the centre of Manchester!

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