The Charles Causley Trust are celebrating after securing a further round of funding from Arts Council England to continue to celebrate and promote the legacy of Charles Causley, as well as promote poetry and writing in the community and region where he lived, was inspired and worked. Causley may have counted fellow poets Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin amongst his friends but he never felt the need to leave for too long the Cornish market town where he was born.
The two-year project, called Fuelling the Flame, will allow the trust to continue to build on their original ACE funded project, Spark to Flame, with a range of activities and events to celebrate and promote the work and life of Causley and to help to develop the next generation of poets and writers. Cornwall Council have also match funded the project for the next four years and the project is also supported by Launceston Town Council and South West Literature Development Agency, Literature Works.
Since acquiring Cyprus Well in 2007, their continuing aim is to use it as a centre to celebrate his life and work. The trust now has the funding to continue to offer a series of three-month long live-in residencies to writers from all over the world, to come and live at Cyprus Well, work with community groups and to have time to write. The next encumbant is due to take up their residency in May this year helping to maintain a living legacy in the town Charles loved so well.
The funding has also enabled the trust to employ two new members of staff, Programme Director Kate Campbell and Programme Assistant Rachael Morris, who are now based in Southgate Arch in Launceston.
“These are exciting times for the Causley Trust. This new funding is a clear indication that the work that they do is being recognised as being vital to the poetic heritage of the country. Charles didn’t court the trappings that fame could have brought him and so he is lesser known than his contemporaries but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t as important. Ted Hughes himself called Charles ‘the poet laureate we never had’ and Charles is still revered amongst contemporary poets today. He wasn’t a pretentious person, just a man who expressed himself through writing. My favourite quote of his is when he said ‘if I didn’t write poetry, I think I’d explode’ which I think shows how this was very much his calling, a path he was destined to follow. This funding will help to set the future Charles Causleys on their own paths – and that feels like a pretty good thing to be a part of. I think Charles would have approved.”
The project will also, amongst other things, support the The Causley Festival which runs from May 31st to June 3rd, with headliners Roger McGough and Miriam Darlington.
For details of the festival programme go to http://www.charlescausleyfestival.co.uk
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