Featured in Looky Bag – the local cultural bagzine!

Featured in Looky Bag – the local cultural bagzine!

Looky here now!


Here in glorious Stoke-on-Trent, we have a relatively new phenomenon known as the Looky Bag. This is a ‘bagzine’ – a little bag filled with artistic images and notifications for cultural events.

This idea (website at http://www.winstanleynadin.uk/lookybag/) was started by local artists as a way to spread the word about local talent and culture. It’s found in shops and libraries throughout Stoke-on-Trent (full list on the site) and you can pick one up for free.

looky bag tunstall library

Grab a bag from Tunstall Library


In their own words:

Looky Bag is a new seasonal ‘bagzine’ designed by Winstanley & Nadin that celebrates the cultural scene in Stoke-on-Trent. As well as flyers, posters and postcards for events and local cultural news, the Looky Bag contains all manner of limited edition cultural offerings, activities and exclusive discounts.

I’m really pleased to share that one of my poems, written for the occasion, was featured in the current Looky Bag! This edition is actually a special, to promote Stoke-on-Trent’s bid for the UK City of Culture in 2021.

Looky bag

Packed with stoof!


I decided to write something which was quintessentially ‘Stoke’ but also lighthearted- and being a lover of words in all their forms, I’ve always been interested in a quirk of the local dialect. Namely, that Stokies say ‘book’ (and various other ‘ooks’) as if they rhyme with ‘kook’ – not ‘buck’. So this poem might take a couple of reads and much to my own sad amusement, it only works if you intentionally get things a bit backwards in places!

Here it is:



Now look here- it’s look, not look. As in Luke, not luck.

You might say took, as in Friar, but that makes you a liar.

It should be took, as in Peregrine- the Hobbit, not the flyer.

In Stoke we don’t say cook, we say cook, so don’t make me puke.

Some say that book is like buck, but book is said book in my rebuke.

Alright- so we don’t say hood like Houdini or good like gouda,

But woulda, coulda, shoulda.

You’ll soon learn our ways, by hook or by crook,

So long as you rhyme them with duke… alright duck?



Also featured in the Looky Bag are works by local artists, more poems, news of workshops and classes- really a bit of everything. It’s a fantastic idea and I heartily encourage everyone to grab one!


by Bret

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