AN iconic Sunderland band and an award-winning poet are combining to deliver a series of workshops for budding songwriters.

Mercury-nominated Field Music and Northumbrian poet and writer Paul Summers are looking for young Wearsiders aged between 13 and 19 to take part in the free workshops, which are planned to culminate in a live performance at Arts Centre Washington, Covid permitting.

The workshops are being delivered as part of the Poems of Town project, funded by the national Here and Now programme in which 40 arts centres nationally are celebrating culture within communities through a wide range of projects. Here and Now is supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres, marking The National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

The sessions with Field Music and Paul will start on Saturday, February 20, and will run for an initial six-week period, every Saturday. The sessions will be on Zoom until Covid restrictions are lifted, when the workshops will move to Arts Centre Washington.

Rachel Hamer, Young People and Communities Producer at Sunderland Culture, is helping to organise Poems of Town: “This is an amazing opportunity for young people in Washington and across Wearside to develop their music and songwriting capabilities – learning from the very best.

“We’re open to what the final performance might look like – we’ll want the views of the young people taking part – but we would hope the music produced reflects the identity of Washington and the wider Wearside area.

“The first few sessions will be about understanding the skills and experience of the young people taking part. It will be a very responsive process led by Field Music and Paul, but the young people will be heavily involved in decisions about pace and direction.”

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Paul’s poems have appeared widely in publications for more than two decades, and he has performed all over the world. He has also written for TV, film, radio, theatre and collaborated with artists and musicians on mixed-media projects.

Field Music was formed in 2004 by brothers David and Peter Brewis. The band has recently been working on the Paint the Town In Sound exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, which explores the relationship between musicians and artists.