Ipswich City Councillors (from left)Cheryl Bromage, Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood and Cr David Pahlke discuss the Ipswich Poetry Feast with Moujun Shi who is the adviser to the People’s Government of Changde Municipality and the delegation leader.

A MUTUAL interest in poetry created a special link today between Ipswich City Council and a visiting Chinese delegation.
Ipswich Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood, welcomed the delegation to Ipswich, said both Ipswich and the Chinese city of Changde ran regular poetry competitions.
Every second year Changde holds its own poetry festival with works then included on the now famous Changde poetry wall.  This wall is a flood mitigation wall however a number of years ago the Changde City Government decided to use the wall to display a collection of poetry, painting and calligraphy works by many modern artists.  This poetry wall is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Poetry was an extremely popular cultural pursuit in Changde.
There are nearly 100 poem associations in the city with more than 14,850 members.  The city has experienced a great surge in people’s desire to discover and learn poetry. We hope to encourage the Ipswich community to show the same level of enthusiasm for our local poetry competition – the Ipswich Poetry Feast – which is run annually by council and the community.  Council had welcomed a six member delegation (plus interpreter) led by Mr SHI Moujun who is the Adviser to the People’s Government of Changde Municipality.
The group have visited Ipswich to meet with council and hold discussions, particularly about the two city’s poetry competitions.  “The welcome also included an audio visual presentation on preparations for the annual Ipswich Poetry Feast.
Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said it was wonderful to hear first-hand of the scope of Changde’s poetry competition.  “The city receives between 20,000 and 50,000 entries for their poetry competition each year which sounds amazing until you remember the size of their city.”  “We also discovered that the Chandge poetry wall was much longer than we first thought,” he said.  “It turns out that it is currently 6.5km and they intend to extend it to 10km eventually.”  Cr Pahlke said the council delegation had enjoyed spending the time with the Changde visitors.
“It is our intention to exchange cultural links and knowledge and seek advice when we come to build our planned poetry wall.  “While ours won’t be mammoth as theirs we will still be looking to make a significant statement and we will appreciate any advice they might be able to offer to us.”  The Changde City government has been invited to send representatives to attend the Ipswich Poetry Feast presentation night in late October. “We hope they will take up this invitation as we would love to have them involved in our 10th anniversary presentation,” Cr Pahlke said.  Both Changde and Ipswich cities are co-signatories to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) originally signed in Ipswich last June.
Changde facts:
It is  a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 6.8 million people.
Changde today is an administrative centre and a storage and shipping point for tung oil, grain, cotton, medicinal herbs, and wood.
Manufactures include ceramics, machine tools, textiles, leather, and processed foods.
Grain, oil, cotton, and other commodities are loaded into medium-sized ships and taken to Yueyang, Changsha, or Hankou (Wuhan, Hubei province) for onward shipment.
Timber is also rafted there and floated across Lake Dongting to Hueyang, and to the Yangtze River.
After 1949 the city developed some light industry, mostly based on such local products as wood, leather, and bristles.

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