Cheltenham Poetry Festival

3 Apr

The Cheltenham Poetry Festival starts on April 20th, offering you the chance to experience poetry in all it’s manifestations: there are world class poets performing in intimate venues, exciting new fusion events which blend poetry with visual arts, workshops, films, rap, food events, and even a little animation. Cheltenham Poetry Festival was described as a triumph in its first year, and since then it has gone from strength to strength. Check out the brilliant lineup at their website.

Deserving of special mention are the events involving University of Gloucestershire students and graduates:

Katie-Hammond-Picture-Dead-InkTuesday 23rd is new voices night, a showcase of emerging talent. The poets on show include award-winning new voice Katie Hammond, who holds a first-class honours degree from the University of Gloucestershire, where she is now studying for her MA. To hear Katie and other stars of the future, get along to The Muffin Man on Crescent Terrace. The event is from 6pm to 7:30pm, and again it includes an open mic section.

On Thursday 25th, there’s a chance to see a fusion of stunning film photography and haunting, lyrical poetry by Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery. Chaucer is a graduate of the University of Gloucestershire MA programme, and the event – titled ‘There is nothing in the garden’ – is from 4pm to 5pm, in Oxfam Bookshop on Cambray Place.

On Saturday 27th, there’s a chance to hear University of Gloucestershire graduate, Angela France. Angela is the author of three collections, the newest of which, Hide, was launched at the university in March. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, where she is now studying for a PhD. Her work is richly imaginative, finely crafted and complex, while remaining joyfully playful. Angela and Dan will be representing the South West against the East Midlands (represented by Matt Merritt and Maria Taylor), in the Nine Arches Press poetry rodeo. The poets will take turns in an exchange of poems responding to the themes, ideas and forms of each other’s work. The event is from 2pm to 3pm in Copa on Regent Street (£5/4).

angelaFinally, don’t miss Angela France’s second appearance of the weekend, this time alongside Costa prize winner, Christopher Reid (whose poem The Song of Lunch became a BBC2 film starring Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson). They’ll be reading at The Red Pepper Bistro on Regent Street, from 8pm to 9pm (£5/4).

You can book tickets for these performances, or any of the festival’s other great events, online at www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk or by phoning 0844 576 2210.

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