LitFest’s Launch At The Storey

Lancaster LitFest helped launch the new Storey Creative Industries Centre last night with a well-attended event featuring former Lancaster University graduate Jacob Polley. LitFest’s Andy Darby opened the evening with a few words about the work-in-progress that is The Storey and then a showing of a short film by Simon Wainwright around the poems of Josephine Dickinson. Dickinson’s cleverly cycling words were reflected by the choice of images Wainwright chose, starkly colored shots of Lancaster, star maps, the globe, brilliant white crosses in a war cemetery, Subtle at times, explicit from other angles, Finding A Language is a film I’d like to view again. Five years ago LitFest commissioned two poets to produce poems for this building, sadly Gael Turnbull died shortly after writing his piece. As with the film, Turnbull’s poem seemed endlessly cyclic, somehow appropriate for the emergence from the chrysalis of The Storey. Jacob Polley told us he felt a new venture such as this deserved ceremony, deserved consecration, and in ‘Welcome’ he sought to do that. Repeating, evolving, adding to its mantra of welcomes to its conclusion ‘the building’s not finished til the people come.’ Polley’s poetry can lack focus as a whole, whilst being packed with telling phrases, but ‘Welcome’ did its job perfectly. He then read a passage from his forthcoming novel Talk of The Town carefully choosing a passage which showed a strong northern voice and leaving us wanting more. That’s one more novel I need to buy soon. And then, as before, people mingled, drank wine and ate cakes. Ideas were exchanged and expanded upon and that is how it should be, what The Storey is for, if you ask me.


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