Southwell Library Poetry Festival has been a favourite in the county’s literary calendar since it took up residence in the library in 1997. Over the years, audiences have had the chance to enjoy an amazing array of quality poetry from names including Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Lemn Sissay and Daljit Nagra.
Now, as the festival reaches its tenth year, Inspire who delivers culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council will be taking poets and poetry to other Nottinghamshire libraries. With a new name, multiple venues and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Inspire Poetry Festival will take place from 11th to 16th July at Southwell, Mansfield Central, West Bridgford and Worksop Libraries.
Southwell Library is proud to host headline appearances from acclaimed poets Jackie Kay and Paul Farley, along with a packed programme of readings, performances, workshops, family activities and special events.
The brilliant Scottish poet, novelist and playwright Jackie Kay appears on 14th July. Her first collection, The Adoption Papers, won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. Fiere, her latest collection, was shortlisted for the Costa award. She was awarded an MBE in 2006 and was named Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – in March 2016.
Liverpool-born Paul Farley will appear on 15th July. He has written four poetry collections including The Ice Age which won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. A frequent broadcaster, he presents BBC Radio 4’s poetry programme The Echo Chamber and is Professor of Poetry at Lancaster University.
Poetry readers and writers can hone their skills in one of the practical workshops, while even absolute beginners will find plenty to enjoy in the programme of talks and performances which combine poetry with an array of subjects including history, motherhood, Byron, bereavement, music, autism, conservation and inspiration.
With performances for children from Joseph Coelho and A. F. Harrold, the digital poet in residence Julia Bird popping up to post, tweet and make origami birds, a special book launch celebrating a new Charter of the Forest, Mahendra Solanki and Candlestick Press sharing poems on the theme of Home, and much more besides, we’re looking forward to a busy week of wise, witty, wonderful words.
For a full list of events and to purchase tickets go to www.inspireculture.org.uk/poetry-festival. Tickets can also be purchased at the library where the event is taking place in person or by phone. Contact Southwell Library on 01636 812148.
Tickets are non-refundable except where an event is cancelled.
Pic credits: Denise Else & Urszula Soltys