AMERICA'S 'Beat' poet laureate will be encouraging others to unleash their creativity when he visits Bolton tomorrow.

George Wallace will host a writing workshop and give an evening performance as part of his tour of the north west.

As writer in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in New York, he has a particular interest in coming to Bolton during the bicentenary of the poet. The town has a unique connection to the 19th century literary great thanks to the Eagle Street College – a group of Boltonian Whitman enthusiasts who regularly met to discuss Whitman and read his work.

He said of him: “I admire Walt Whitman's ability to reach to and reveal the igniting fire of existence, to bring his reader into its presence, and engage us in its power with so much a sense of wonder at its magic that we never get burnt."

Between 2pm and 4pm tomorrow, he will run a writing workshop at St George’s Gallery, St George’s Rd.

"The basic idea is that there is a wealth of potential in the things around us just waiting for the creative, playful mind inherent to all of us to manipulate ideas, events, memories, experiences, vistas, language itself. We all have that part of our mind within us, and whether it is a first time or long-time writer, a couple of hours in a workshop like this offers an opportunity to clear the decks, so to speak, and give the creative mind free rein to do its thing.

"It's a non-judgmental, generative workshop. It's not about evaluation, it's about establishing an environment that allows for the joy which comes in the actual moment a person engages in the creative act."

At 8pm in the evening, at Bolton Socialist Club on Wood Street, he will be performing his own work in his famous highly-energetic style, as well as reading some of Whitman’s poetry.It will be followed by a question and answer session.

He last visited Bolton in 2015 where he took time to visit Bolton Museum and Library’s internationally acclaimed Walt Whitman archive, which he found “very impressive”.

The Brooklyn-born poet has had a more eventful life than most. He was in a rival high school band to Billy Joel and partied with the singer’s mother, who would join his family at community beach parties. In the 1960s he hung out with counter-cultural icon Allan Ginsberg and they would discuss life, literature, politics and culture.

Mr Wallace said he is looking forward to meeting the Bolton audience tomorrow.

“They’re great fun, lively, engaged and enthusiastic. A 'with it' crowd. My kind of people!"