After wiggling their toes in the water back in 2015, Nottingham Poetry Festival is back. Mixing it up with over fifty events, there are local poets of all genres, backgrounds and disciplines, as well as workshops to get wordy in, and plenty of chances for you to get on the mic and give it a go yersen. Plus they’ve got some national treasures popping down – in the form of Britain’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the inimitable John Cooper Clarke, and the lyrical John Hegley. If you don’t think poetry is your thing, think again. If you’re already a fan... well, as you were.
Friday 21 April, 6pm
We received some sad news last month – Nottingham’s gobbiest poetry collective is now finished. Kaput. Nada. You heard – Mouthy Poets has disbanded, so celebrate with the bardy boggers one last time as a showcase of poetry from members old and new is brought to the Poetry Festival.
Saturday 22 April, 1.30pm
The Nottingham emcee and hip hop legend is known around these parts for tearing up stages and cooking up tasty scoff under his alias, Chef Jugz. This April, you can expect to have his lyrical wisdom imparted into your brain cells during a workshop open to everyone aged fourteen and over.
Nottingham Writers Studio
Sunday 23 April, 7pm
Free for asylum seekers/£3
We’re dead proud of the multiculturalism that exists in our citeh – and what better way to celebrate that than with an evening of words and music from a load of different cultures and backgrounds? There’ll be languages aplenty, all united through a love of poetry. You can bring yer nippers, n’all.
Monday 24 - Friday 28 April
After originating in Chicago, poetry slams – or competitions – have taken the world by storm. Humble Notts sees four heats over the course of the week, all drawing to a close in the final on the Friday. Performance is key, with some of the city’s musicians getting in on the literary, a capella action.
Monday 24 April, 7pm
We’ve pulled a few of our favourite wordsmiths who’ve featured on these here pages, bringing their printed goods to life, all on stage at Rough Trade. Expect the likes of Panya Banjoko, Di Slaney, and Rory Waterman, to name a few, all hosted by our Poetry Editor, Aly Stoneman.
Tuesday 25 April, 6pm
John Lucas has got each one of his fingers in a wordy pie. He’s a poet, critic, biographer, literary historian and an anthologist. He’s also the bloke behind Shoestring Press, one of Nottingham’s best-loved poetry publishers. He’ll be joined by Andrew Taylor, who recently published his twelfth poetry pamphlet, Air Vault and acclaimed poet and workshop facilitator, Matthew Welton. Get some pearly wisdoms imparted in yer noggin.
Wednesday 26 April, 8pm
Pay What You Can
Nottingham’s longest-standing poetry collective is out in full force, bringing their delicately emotive words, and their angry, political rants to your lug holes. Speech Therapy – the poetry night that used to be based at Hotel Deux – is proud to present the boggers, so get down and grab yersen a proper DIY publication while you’re at it.
Thursday 27 April, 7pm
After hosting a competition for black writers in the city, local poet and educator Panya Banjoko of Nottingham Black Archive has curated an anthology to widen eyeballs all round. Gerron over to Carlton Street to catch the Black Writers Network previewing some of the poems set to be published in the upcoming publication, Black in the City.
Friday 28 April, 5pm
The literary badasses at Mud Press have whacked together an illustrative zine called Woman, and it’s time to celebrate the launch with live art, a poetry kissing booth, music, spoken word, market stalls, the lot. You can expect big, beautiful things from this Notts publisher.
Nottingham Poetry Festival website