Poetry recital raises cash for cathedral project

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SOME of the finest poetry in the world echoed through St Edmundsbury Cathedral during a mammoth fund-raising effort.

The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward, the Dean of St Edmundsbury, joined forces with Dr Elizabeth Cook to read poems for 24 hours in the historic venue over the weekend.

The pair aimed to contribute to the £20,000 needed to appoint a writer in residence for the cathedral – a post which will be held by Dr Cook.

With requests made in exchange for £1 per line of poetry and money collected during the recital, they have so far amassed more than £11,500.

Dr Ward hopes to secure match funding from other sources.

She said: “It was great fun but tiring. We had requests from all sorts of people all around the world, which was such a surprise.”

Covering a great breadth of work from longer pieces to limericks, they started with a piece of work by the late Adrienne Rich and finished with the Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear.

Asked whether they managed to stay awake throughout the night, Dr Ward admitted: “We had a bit of a snooze from 3.30am to 4am because we were falling asleep.”