New project for Leeds poetry pals will be a blockbuster

James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard outside Hyde Park Picture House.
James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard outside Hyde Park Picture House.
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A PAIR of poets are ready to roll the opening titles on a nostalgic literary project in Leeds.

James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard are putting together a collection of verse that is designed to act as a celebration of the city’s rich cinematic history.

Cinema Stories will feature their poetic takes on the picture-going experience past and present as well as memories and anecdotes submitted by members of the public.

James said: “I have lived in Leeds for almost half a century and still remember the picture houses dotted about the city and its suburbs and what it meant to our communities.

“I think that our poetry and a few well chosen images is a powerful and wonderful way to celebrate that historic relationship while having an appeal beyond the city environs to anyone who has ever gone to the pictures.”

Cinema Stories will be published by Valley Press in the autumn.

Launch events are planned at the Leeds International Film Festival in November and next March’s Headingley LitFest.

Plans are also in the pipeline to promote the book with cinema-based workshops. James’s poetry has been described as “magical and memorable” and his best-selling collection Some Things Matter is currently in its seventh print run.

Matthew saw his debut collection, A Family Behind Glass, included in The Guardian’s readers’ books of the year list for 2013.

He was also one of the prime movers behind a regular literary evening that ran for two years at the Chemic Tavern pub in Woodhouse.

People wanting to put forward their own recollections so they can be considered for inclusion in the new book are asked to get in touch with James and Matthew via @Cinema_Stories on Twitter.