Bike parked alongside towpath on Rochdale's Connect2 Network
The Rochdale canal Towpath forms the main spine of the Connect2 Network

Connect2Poetry - writing, cycling and walking project

Connect2Poetry is a new project engaging community groups and schools using poetry to raise awareness of Rochdale's 36km of traffic free walking and cycling routes.

CTC Cycling Development Officer, Seamus Kelly, has developed an innovative new project, Connect2Poetry, to encourage people to take a walk or go for a bike ride on Rochdale's extensive Connect2 network and at the same time to encourage and develop local creative talents.

Working in partnership with Rochdale Library Services, Cartwheel Arts, Just Poets and creative groups in Rochdale, the project uses poetry as a tool to reach those who would not normally cycle and walk on the 36km network of shared use, traffic-free and quiet road routes.

Funded through Cartwheel Arts and The Maskew Collection at Rochdale Library the project includes:

  • Specially commissioned poetry inspired by the routes to be displayed on the network
  • An art competition for local artists
  • A series of free creative writing events
  • Workshops for schools and community groups
  • Workshops for local creative writing groups
  • Development of the Connect2Poetry app for mobile phones

Creative writing events:

  • A dialect poetry walk with Lancashire dialect poet Sid Calderbank
  • A meet the author session with the author of 'Walking with Harry', John W Winter, and performances of some of the commissioned poetry
  • Journey to the Stars, creative writing workshop with Norman Warwick of Just poets
  • Poetry open mic night at Rochdale's Wheatsheaf Library including guest performances of some of the commissioned poetry

iPhone and Android app

A unique aspect of the project is the creation of the Connect2Poetry app for mobile phones which enables you to have a go at writing poetry while you're out and about.

The app uses GPS to identify your location on the network and asks you to take a photo, which will be uploaded to the project's Flickr gallery. It then asks simple, but thought-provoking questions. When you answer one or more questions the app turns your answers into a poem which will be posted onto the Connect2Poetry blog.

New writers will enjoy being able to create new poetry whilst more experienced writers can use the poems generated by the app to inspire their work.

The Connect2Poetry app will be available for Android and iPhone by late September.

For further information please contact Seamus Kelly on 01706 922055 or by email

Seamus Kelly