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Twitter poem launched in Manchester and Bury | 06-Aug-11

Arts organisation arthur+martha have launched a poem that is being written on Twitter. Collaborating with homeless people in Manchester and Bury, the poem includes lines from the 19th Century social campaigner Friedrich Engels, who famously wrote about the homeless in Manchester during his own era.

Writers and participants have edited phrases and words taken from interviews with homeless and vulnerably housed people around Manchester and Bury to produce a long poem, being posted line-by-line on Twitter four times a day.

The poem appears at!/tweetfromengels

The verses capture the various moods of the homeless, including joy, terror, humour, resilience and anger, imagining them in a dialogue with Engels himself. It also features lines from Engels' letters to Karl Marx, and his text 'The Condition of the English Working Classes'.

The project has been produced in collaboration with local and international poets, artists and writers, including Steve Giasson, Lois Blackburn, Geof Huth, Copland Smith, Anna McGowan, Rebecca Guest and Big Issue vendors.

The project is in partnership with the Text Festival, The Big Issue in the North, the Red Door (Bury Housing Concern), Brighter Futures, The Booth Centre, The Lowry, LOVE Creative and the BBC. Visual versions of some of the poem's texts will appear on the BBC Big Screen in Manchester, starting on August 5th, the date of Engels' death.

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