Barnsley College students have been audience to Ian McMillan, radio presenter, poet and writer as part of the College’s ever-growing Cultural Capital initiative.
Originally born in Darfield, Barnsley, Ian has been a broadcaster, commentator and programme-maker for over 20 years. He founded ‘Versewagon’, later re-named Circus of Poets, a performance poetry group with John Turner and Martyn Wiley. He also appears regularly on television and radio and contributes articles to the Mail on Sunday, The Guardian, the Barnsley Chronicle, Q, Mojo, Poetry Review and the Yorkshire Post.
Throughout his career Ian, nicknamed the 'Bard of Barnsley,' has been poet in residence at Barnsley Football Club, Northern Trains and Humberside Police.
Working remotely, students had the chance to listen to Ian, virtually, as he sent a very important message. He spoke words of inspiration that will allow both staff and students to explore their creative side through reading and writing as, in times to come, people will look to us, the ones who lived through the COVID-19 outbreak, to tell them what it was like.
Ian spoke of the importance of the creative pieces we may create and that we should explore these in the greatest capacity possible be it painting, drawing, writing stories and poems and taking photographs.
In the video, Ian says: “The things we make are going to be the archives that future historians look at and it will keep our brains ticking over in this sludgy time that we’re tramping through.”
Jimmy Parkin, Cultural Capital Co-ordinator at Barnsley College, added: “We are thrilled that Ian McMillan has taken the time to send a message to our students during this extraordinary time.
“We hope that our students will be inspired and encouraged by Ian’s words. Having Ian engage with our students like this is incredibly important for their development and to reiterate our message to students on the importance of embracing Cultural Capital opportunities.”
To watch Ian’s virtual message to the students, visit www.barnsley.ac.uk/news-and-events