A Blackburn poet has released his new book featuring a collection of poems from his previous collections as well as a refreshing selection of new ones.

Night Bus to Monte Carlo is Mark Ward’s third poetry collection book which is heavily inspired by his Lancashire hometown.

The idea for a new book came to Mark while the world was ordered to stay inside during lockdown. Using his free time, the Revidge poet and author spent months curating the previous collections and writing new poems.

The Lancaster University graduate has travelled the corners of the world, from Nambia to New Zealand to Alaska but his work focuses on the culture and heritage of Blackburn.

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn poet and author Mark WardBlackburn poet and author Mark Ward

His world venture began at 18, when Mark left home for Monte Carlo on the magic bus – explaining the story behind the title of this latest release.

He said: “The book is effectively a chronicle of a town and its people.

"Someone once said that if people were all the same we'd have no need for assorted biscuits: each and every one of us is unique, everyone has a story.

“Of course if you're going to make a record it's important to show all aspects - the light and the dark.

"Events occur that cast shadows which make our world's that little bit darker. But there's always light and there's always hope, which this book ultimately conveys.”

The poems in Night Bus to Monte Carlo have been taken from The Visitor’s Book, a semi-autobiographical account, published in August, and Thunder Alley published in December of the same year.

The book is predominately set in Blackburn as it “chronicles and collates the overlooked, the ordinary and the remarkable into a rich, compelling sequence of narrative poems.”

Mark worked closely with talented artists, Kate Davis who specialises in illustration at the Royal College of Art, and Scottish artist David Moore to create the original cover illustration.

Mark is having a book launch for Night Bus to Monte Carlo at the Cheeks & Greys Café, Blackburn Cathedral at 7pm today.

At the free event, Mark will provide a reading of his latest collection which will be followed by music from his daughter Tanya Ward.

The poet and author has appeared on TV and radio including Made in England, BBC, and ITV Granada Reports as well as being a founder of the Haworth Festival of Arts.

You can purchase Night Bus to Monte Carlo on Amazon.