A fundraising book developed in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack has raised over £140,000 for charity since publication in September, according to James Torry, who conceived the project.
The book, This is the Place, Choose Love, Manchester, published by charity Forever Manchester, is on sale at Waterstones and Amazon, with both retailers agreeing to waive fees to stock the book and assist with the fulfilment of orders.
The hardback, priced at £30, contains illustrations, designs and photographs set against lines from Tony Walsh’s Manchester vigil poem. Altogether, 61 Manchester creatives were invited to interpret the poem visually with all the profits going to Manchester based charities Forever Manchester, We Love MCR Emergency Fund and The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.
Featuring "world renowned" agencies and designers like Peter Saville, designer for New Order, Joy Division, Factory Records, and Malcolm Garrett, designer for the Buzzcocks, the book also contains personal messages from Walsh and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.
The project was developed by James Torry, owner of video and animation production agency Doodledo Motion. Torry said: “After hearing Tony’s poem it was impossible not to be moved. It gave a city that was struggling at the time to know what to think or feel, some language to articulate it. Being part of such a strong creative sector, I knew that we could come together, use the words and make something beautiful and hopeful for Manchester - but I couldn’t have imagined how incredible the response from the creative community has been and the extraordinary lengths they would go to!.”
“People have literally put their day jobs on hold to help make this happen and we’re so grateful. The end result is not only visually stunning, but very moving and by supporting these brilliant charities, I know we all feel like we’ve created something really special that we hope will make a real difference. It feels like a project that could only have happened in Manchester.”
Walsh added: “After performing the poem at the vigil, I realised the words had taken on a new depth and poignancy. They’ve become part of the fabric of the city. People have used them in music, in art, on buildings...it’s been remarkable. The idea of bringing the words to life and producing a lasting symbol of hope for the city was perfect to me. Seeing the finished book had me in tears. It’s beautifully crafted. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Nessa Urquhart, fiction buyer at Waterstones, said: “In This Is The Place, Tony Walsh found the words that so many of us were looking for. Waterstones are proud to support this publication and the charities who will benefit from its sale. Sales so far have been very encouraging, and we anticipate a strong local showing in the weeks leading up to Christmas.”
The Bookseller spoke to Walsh earlier this year.