Written by Madelaine Smith
The countdown to the Winchester Poetry Festival has begun and the longlist for the Winchester Poetry Prize has been announced.
Between 8 to 10 October, the historic city of Winchester will come alive with poetry readings, performances and discussions.
Winchester Poetry Festival
The Festival has become a major event in the poetry world, with a reputation for innovative programming, for nurturing new talent, and for championing many of the most exciting poets from the UK and beyond.
The Winchester Poetry Prize and the winner of the best poem by a Hampshire-based poet will be announced at the Festival, which takes place at the Winchester Discovery Centre. The longlist for the 2021 Winchester Poetry Prize has been announced by judge Jacqueline Saphra and comprises of 25 poems from writers across the country.
The Festival will celebrate poetry and the hope it gives people in times of need. The enticing line-up includes familiar events such as Things Being Various featuring outstanding Irish poet and Professor of Poetry, Paul Muldoon. There will be readings and performances by the remarkable poets Liz Berry, Patience Agbabi, and Romalyn Ante, as well as with Hampshire Poet Kathryn Bevis, and Winchester Muse.
The Festival is the culmination of an amazing, five-month programme of online events. It will also celebrate the Poet on the High Street residency, undertaken by Jonny Fluffypunk, which was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Winchester City Council, and Winchester BID. Over the past few months Jonny, a stand-up poet and performer, has taken Winchester’s communities and businesses on a journey of expression and imagination, delivering workshops and performance events in and around the city. He will use these experiences to create new work to be performed at the Festival.
The online events have been very well received with many of them selling out. Feedback has been extremely positive and by being online, people from around the world including countries such as Israel, India, America and Canada, have been able to experience the Festival.
Working Round The Pandemic
Jane Bryant, Chair of Winchester Poetry Festival, said: “The challenges of the pandemic meant we had to think differently about how we were going to provide a festival this year and we felt that a hybrid approach of online and real-world activity would give us the best chance of reaching the widest possible audience.
“We are delighted with how the Festival has been enjoyed by so many people, especially those in other countries who may not have been able to experience what we have offered in the past.
“And now our attention is turning to the live events in October, which is very exciting. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and to being able to experience, in person, what makes poetry truly special.”
Winchester Poetry Festival will take place from 8 to 10 October at the Winchester Discovery Centre. For more information and tickets visit www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org.
Find More About Winchester Poetry Festival:
Winchester Poetry Festival will take place from 8 to 10 October at the Winchester Discovery Centre. For more information visit www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org. Tickets and information for the Poet on the High Street events is available at https://www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org/poet-on-high-st-events