£5 (plus £1.50 p&p) ISBN 978-1-912710-06-5
We Will Be Free! is an anthology of poems from the Bread and Roses Poetry Award 2018, sponsored by Unite.
This is my second year judging this much-needed and extraordinary competition. Again, I was struck by the passion, the urgency and the sheer hard work driving people to write these poems. So many of the entries were beautifully put together, often with a story that demanded to be told and with artfully refreshing humour.
The poems all reflected the fact that we find ourselves in such bleak and alienating times—making this type of competition more crucial than ever. And this year we had a particularly healthy number of entries from women and from young people—again, a reflection of deep, unvoiced feelings from those hardest hit, by today’s increasingly rampant inequality.
- Mary Sayer Judge of the Bread and Roses Poetry Award
We must take heart from the response in this competition, as well as more widely, that the working class are continuing their fight for justice, equality, and freedom—be it the economic struggle on the picket line, the political struggle through the ballot box, and the cultural struggle through poetry, the arts generally, and other cultural activities.
Society cannot be changed solely from the top, even with a progressive Labour government. It needs strong unions, not an add-on to government but to assist in building the foundations of a more just and equal country. None of this can be done without socialist culture policies—for the many, not the few.
- Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite
Mike Quille is a writer, reviewer and chief editor of Culture Matters.