Written by Becky Attwood
Winchester’s journey of expression and imagination is set to continue through a series of events led by the city’s resident Poet on the High Street.
Writing And Winchester
On every Monday evening throughout September, Jonny Fluffypunk, a stand-up poet and performer, will hold free online writing workshops that will explore our relationships with Winchester and to re-map the city though words, enabling people to reconnect with the area.
On 18 and 19 September he will hold a performative walk around Winchester saluting the city’s hidden histories as a part of Winchester Heritage Open Days.
Winchester Poetry Festival announced Jonny as the Poet on the High Street in June following support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Winchester BID, and Winchester City Council. The events are part of the Festival’s exciting programme of workshops, readings and discussion activities in the run up to the live festival in October.
Other up and coming events include a poetry reading group with Hampshire poet Kathryn Bevis on the theme of sleep (Friday 10 September), a workshop with Andrew McMillan, and performances from exciting poets Ben Bransfield, Shash Trevett, Isabelle Baafi’s Ignition and Nicki Heinen (Saturday 11 September).
In June, the Festival announced a ‘stretched’ festival for 2021 comprising a five-month programme. The 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 have been able to experience what makes the Winchester Poetry Festival really special.
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 know 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 people, especially those in other countries who may not have been able to experience what we have to offer in the past. We’ve had attendees from Israel, India, America and Canada, which is really wonderful.
“As the summer draws to a close, our attentions will turn to our live festival weekend in Winchester in October. But until then, we hope people enjoy the online events still to come.”
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