THE former poet-in-residence at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth is celebrating National Poetry Day this week by sharing the work he did with residents.

Rowan McCabe wasn’t expecting the coronavirus pandemic when he signed up to the role at Wordsworth House and Garden in 2019, to mark William Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary.

In the past Rowan, who is based in Newcastle, knocked on people's doors, listened to their stories and wrote them a poem, but he adapted - Georgian style - and asked for people’s stories by post or met them on the fells, as Wordsworth did.

Rowan’s work has naturally reflected the changes we’ve all experienced and things we’ve been through.

For National Poetry Day the National Trust and Rowan are sharing his work from 2020-21 to celebrate the joys and challenges of the past two years.

Visitor experience and operations manager Zoe Gilbert said: “The work that has emerged from Rowan’s residency has been so moving.

"He has absolutely captured the spirit of Wordsworth in lifting up and placing value on people’s lives.

"So many of us have spent time thinking on what is important, what makes us happy and grieving for things or people lost.

"Rowan’s poems are snapshots of his life, and all our lives, and what it means to be human.”

Rowan said: "I've felt incredibly lucky to be a part of this project. The residency didn't exactly go the way I had imagined.

"But working within the restrictions of the various lockdowns has been a strange but really rewarding experience.

"And it's been a huge honour to briefly walk in the enormous footsteps of this literary giant."

William Wordsworth composed many of his poems outside and walking, assisted by his sister Dorothy.

Both writers passionately articulate the importance of the natural world for their well-being and mental health, which has had such resonance with people over the past two years.

A full-length live performance of Rowan McCabe, accompanied by musician Rob Heron, at Wordsworth House and Garden can be viewed at