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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Poet Laureate judges urban verse
The Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion
Andrew Motion will pick the best 12 works
The Poet Laureate Andrew Motion is to judge a competition to find out what Manchester means to its residents.

The winner of the Poem for Manchester competition will have their verse engraved in the fabric of a new development near Piccadilly Station.

Entrants are asked to write a 40-word poem entitled 'Manchester', reflecting on what the city means to them.

Shortlisted poems will be posted across the city and the winner will be announced on National Poetry Day.

The contest is to be launched by BBC GMR on Monday.

The winning poem will be built into the planned Piccadilly Place development of shops, offices and restaurants.

Celebrity backing

The development will be linked to Piccadilly Station by a futuristic footbridge.

Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTE), and property company Argent are behind the contest.

Celebrity poets Heather Small of the Manchester band M-People and Paul Heaton of The Beautiful South are backing the competition.

Local poet Lemn Sissay, whose work is already engraved on paving stones and painted on several walls in Manchester city centre, is encouraging people to get involved.

Budding poets can send their entris to BBC GMR by post or e-mail them in to the BBC Manchester Where I Live Site.

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