Mansfield Town poet using ‘power of words’ to help boost Bradford in its City of Culture bid

Mansfield Town FC’s official poet Richard C. Bower is hoping to harness the power of words to help Bradford in its bid for City of Culture status.

The 45-year old hit the headlines earlier this year when he was featured as a top read in Amazon’s Top 50 Inspirational Books for his second poetry collection, Sanctuary,

Now he is backing a Yorkshire poetry therapy group called Spoke – organised by Keighley poet Simon Pickles – which could play a key role in helping Bradford with its City of Culture 2025 bid.

Richard C. Bower is hoping to harness the power of words to help people and the city of Bradford.

"It’s an organisation aimed at promoting 'poetry as therapy' to help others 'speak their truth' and pick up a pen,” said Richard.

"It’s a commendable project helping those who may be struggling.

"Writing and expression can help people in so many ways with bereavement, addiction recovery, rehabilitation, and many other issues.

"The setting up of the poetry group comes amid the city’s bid for Bradford’s City of Culture, 2025.

"I will be getting involved to offer my support, experience and personal stories of struggle and of success to those who access the group with the aim of turning their life around.”

Richard, a former careers’ adviser who lives in Whitwell, is from Mansfield and was educated at the town’s former Queen Elizabeth Boys’ School.

He is currently studying an MSc in journalism at Leeds Beckett University and has written all his life – saying it helped him after losing his mother Ann Bower in 2013.

Richard expressed his feelings of loss through his first poetry collection, Post Modern.

“Writing helped me find hope, solace and direction in life,” he said.

"I'm not the only person in which writing has had a positive effect on their life.

"There's so much more to poetry it's not merely about making words rhyme. It's about expression, and expression is a key foundation to being human.

“Poetry allows us to speak freely, to express our emotions and our truth, without holding back. In today's society there is so many restrictions on what we can and can't do. Our voice is a tool we can use to highlight real issues that need to be amplified.

“Words are powerful and poetry amplifies just how powerful words can be.”

- Hear Richard narrate This is Mansfield Town’ in 2020 via