Cheltenham Poetry Festival and The Echo hosted the Cheltenham Poetry Election last night. Each of the six candidates in the election to become Cheltenham's next MP had to read two of their favourite poems. The audience then voted for their favourite poems. Lib Dem candidate Martin Horwood won both in the first past the post and single transferable vote system.
I think this is a really clever initiative. I wonder how many people's perceptions were changed based on this event - did it make them see their candidates in a different light?
Although this might not suit every campaign, this is the kind of creative thinking that could help both businesses and individuals reach out to a wider demographic by revealing their human side.
The event was put on by the Echo and Cheltenham Poetry festival. Introduced by festival founder Anna Saunders, proceedings were compered by her fellow director and poet David Clarke. The six candidates each read two poems: Conservative Alex Chalk read the Baboon by Spike Milligan and High Flight by John Magee, Labour's Paul Gilbert read Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? by Shakespeare and Carried by Richard Moorehead, Martin Horwood had selected Ozymandias by Shelley and This Is a Life Story, Isn't It? 'edited' from the real words of dementia patients by John Killick.