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TRCH Robin Hood

Southwell Poetry Festival

2 July 11 words: Tristram 'lager' Shandy
A poetry pub crawl, Simon Armitage, Matthew Welton, John Harvey, Rosie Garner, jazz and poetry therapy
Simon Armitage will be reading at Southwell Poetry Festival on Sunday

Southwell Poetry Festival kicks off this Sunday with an eclectic mix of programming to keep us going through the week. With readings from established and emerging poets, a poetry pub crawl, workshops and a discussion of portraits of Lord Byron, there’s something for everyone. So get yer diaries out and see if you can fit one of these events in.

Pauline Prior-Pitt kicks off proceedings at 2pm on Sunday 3 July with readings from her latest collection Holding Close. PPP writes about everything from political issues to love, death and dresses, as well as the landscape of her home in North Uist. Afterwards it’s Tea and Poetry (4.30pm – with Jenny Swann and Di Slaney from Candlestick Press as they read from, yes you’ve guessed it, Ten Poems about Tea. Coffee drinkers are also welcome. Rounding off the night is Simon Armitage (7pm – 8pm) who requires little introduction other than to say he’ll be reading from some of his ten collections of poetry and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Monday is Independence Day and to celebrate there will be a special screening of Will Smith kicking alien butt set to the Iambic pentameter. Only joking. Instead there’s a celebration of American poetry (2pm-4pm), and then in the evening a night of American Jazz and Poetry (8pm – 10pm) with John Harvey and the jazz quartet, Second Nature.

On Tuesday poetry takes an intriguing twist when Ralph Lloyd-Jones discusses Lord Byron in Images of a Poet (2pm-3pm). Much has been said about Byron’s love life and literary works but here the focus is on the many images which have tried to capture our favourite and most beautiful scoundrel. These include allegorical portrayals by European artists, contemporary cartoons, graphic novels and films. There’s a book launch  for Adrian Buckner’s new collection Bed Time Reading (5.30pm-6.15pm) followed by Tom Warner (who’ll be appearing in our September Shindig!) and Andy Croft (6.30pm-7.30pm). If you still want more of the written word then hang about for a lecture on the Common Music of Poetry (8pm-9pm).

One of the many images of Lord Byron to be discussed by Ralph Lloyd-Jones.  

Leading the thirsty revellers on Wednesday for a Poetry Pub Crawl is MulletProofPoet. We’re not entirely sure what this event will entail but we’re keen to find out what metaphors will be used when they’re ramming kebab meat down their throats after kicking-out time. (Don’t worry, you can catch up with The Apprentice on the iPlayer.)

For those of you who manage to sleep off the hangover, Thursday offers up a master class in The Poetry of Place with Nigel Pickard and East Midlands Book Award nominee Rosie Garner. Brian Moses and his Poetry and Percussion Show (1pm-2pm) present the alternative 3Rs: Rhyme, Rhythm and Rap to school kids. In the evening you can catch Matthew Welton (6pm-6.30pm) one of the most innovative poets around as well as one of the most indecisive – well how else do you explain your second poetry collection having one hundred and one words in the title? Welton is a master of structure and form and is definitely one not to miss. Afterwards treat yourself to readings from Four Quartets by T.S.Eliot (7.30pm – 9.30pm) by the Nottingham Stanza Group.  

Poetry is for Life not just for Christmas. Cathy Grindrod and Sheelagh Gallagher will explain why between 10am-12pm. I guess you can think of this as a kind of poetry therapy session which examines how forms of self-expression can help us understand our lives. Southwell Library invites you to nominate and read your Favourite Poem between 2pm-3pm. On paper this sounds like a pretty quaint affair, but don’t be fooled. Poets are argumentative buggers who’d resort to any means to protect the reputation of their chosen muse. And as if to prove this point, the aptly titled Mouthy Poets (6pm – 7pm) will be performing a ‘poetry sit-in’ led by our favourite twenty-one year old in the world, Deborah Stevenson. Having the final word is Angela Macmillan (7.30pm-9pm) who will be reading from A Little Aloud.

Saturday sees a wide variety of talks round off the festival with topics ranging from the Beatles; the secret history of the sonnet; Philip Larkin; list poems; art; summer and our highlight; Desert Island Poetry. In the evening Chrissie Gittins and Sarah Jackson (6.45pm – 7.45pm) will be reading and then it’s time for a two hour Open Mic (8.15pm-10.30pm) hosted by Wayne Burrows

Southwell Poetry Festival website

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