Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

The University of Manchester Lens

Vaulted ceiling of The John Rylands Library

Earlier this year, Manchester launched the inaugural Creative Manchester Poetry Competition, where alumni, staff, and students of the University were invited to submit a poem on the theme ‘Manchester means the world to me’.

Lauren Bolger, Postgraduate and Recruitment Admissions Assistant from the Department of Materials, Faculty of Science and Engineering, won top prize in the staff category for her poem ‘The University of Manchester Lens’.

The University of Manchester Lens by Lauren Bolger

Manchester sits at the edge of her industrial bed
fresh from the labs and the quiet archives
and patiently watches us write  under the arches
of two lovers, statues in the Rylands library
looking at each other, a mirror to ourselves

In the reading room we drive beyond the margins
a path, which The University of Manchester expands
on what we say near telescopes or the singing beehives
where we trace and retrace our research, careers, lives
together in a city, which will sit with us forever

In its language and silence we witness what it means
to see our community support their students’ impact
on the world because it means the world to us
to be humane  to shape the world through,
a University of Manchester lens

Original ideas bloom within the rhythm of the rain
illuminating the silence of the page with our talent

Read more of the winning poems.

Recent features