Inspire Poetry Festival: bringing verse across the county.

Carol Williams
Mon 16 Sep, 2019

Inspire, who run Nottinghamshire's libraries, are bringing fantastic poetry across the county. Carol Williams checks out the line-up...

Poetry is not in short supply in Notts this autumn! After the Workhouse Poetry Festival in Southwell, until 22nd September, we have the Inspire Poetry Festival. And then it will be time for the crazy poetry fest evening at Nottingham Playhouse on National Poetry Day, 3 October! Running from 23-28 September, across 6 library venues, you will be spoilt for choice at the Inspire Festival! Performances, workshops, films – famous poetry stars and newcomers – local and international talent.

Wendy Cope will be at Southwell Libraryon the Saturday afternoon, appropriately at an afternoon tea event (“Making tea for Kingsley Amis” anyone?). Since that first collection in 1986, she has published 7 collections of poetry for adults and children, and received numerous awards. Also at Southwell, Patience Agbabi will feature on Friday evening. Her latest book “Telling Tales” is a contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, described by Simon Armitage as “The liveliest version of Chaucer you’re likely to read”.

At Mansfield Old Library, Raymond Antrobus will be live on the Thursday. This promises to be an exciting performance (with BSL interpretation); Antrobus’s work explores themes from deafness and race, to dementia, death and masculinity.

West Bridgford Library is the venue for Jacob Polley and Andrew Graves, on Wednesday, as well as Collette Bryce and Nafeesa Hamid on Saturday.

Local writer John Harvey, well know for his Resnick crime novels, will be at Beeston Library on Monday (as well as Worksop on Tuesday), reading from his latest poetry collection, “Aslant”. Beeston also hosts the Word! Poetry Festival Special on Tuesday, with T.S.Eliot Prize winning poet George Szirtes, along with special guests and an Open Mic slot. If you are a budding poet, why not go along and read your work in good company!

Other events include the Paper Crane Showcase, the new resident poetry collective at Beeston Library, with local poets and a promise of special guests.

As well as performance, there will be workshops, including Deborah Tyler Bennett’s sessions on Creating Inspired Images, using pictorial images as inspiration, giving you a chance to write your own work. And if you want a workshop about reading poetry, rather than writing your own, try Jenny Swann’sEverything You Wanted to Know about Poetry But Didn’t Dare Ask.

And Voices presents an exhibition of poetry and photography at Mansfield Library, plus the launch of their anthology on Saturday. This project presents poetry created by and with people whose voices, for health, social or age-related reasons, may rarely be heard.

So – what are you waiting for? You can find out more and book tickets here.

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festival poetry wendy cope john harvey

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