Thursday 3rd October
8-9:45 p.m. Open Mic with special guest readers Jinny Fisher and Michelle Diaz. £5 (bring a poem to read and sign up on the door).
Jinny Fisher lives in Glastonbury and is a member of Wells Fountain Poets and Frome Stanza. Her poems have appeared in print and online magazines including The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Tears in the Fence, Lighthouse, Prole, and Ink, Sweat & Tears and have been highly commended and placed in national and international competitions. Committed to bringing poetry to a wider audience, she takes her Poetry Pram to music festivals for random one-to-one readings. Her first pamphlet, The Escapologist, was published by V. Press in February 2019.
Michelle Diaz has been writing poetry since the late 90s. Her poems have appeared in Prole, Under the Radar, 84: Poems on Male Suicide, Vulnerability, Grief, and Hope, and Body and Soul: Poems to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS. Her debut pamphlet, The Dancing Boy, was published in January 2019 by Against the Grain Press.
Friday 4th October
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Nuar Alsadir, "Embodied Poetics: The role of the body in poetic communication." £25.
This workshop will explore the role of the body in poetic communication. What does it mean to feel moved and what kinds of poetic communications elicit that sensation in a reader? In grappling with these questions, we will look at poems, think about strategies, and then experiment with what we come up with in our own writing.
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Jennifer Militello, "Writing Obsession." £25.
When Claude Monet said, “Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment,” he captured the complexity inherent in the obsessive nature of artistic creation. When we write poems, we often write from strong feeling. We write because things move us or disturb us or leave us overjoyed. We all have subjects that stir those feelings more than others, and that can be thought of as our obsessions. In this workshop, we will look at poems that harness the obsessive energy of their writers, and will write to uncover and explore our own obsessions.
1:30-2:30 p.m. Reading by Jennifer Militello, followed by a Q&A with Helen Dewbery. £7.
Jennifer Militello is the author of four collections of poetry, including, most recently, A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), as well as a memoir, Knock Wood, winner of the 2018 Dzanc Nonfiction Award. Her poems have appeared widely in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, Poetry London, and Tin House and have been anthologized in Best New Poets, Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion, and The Manifesto Project. She teaches in the MFA program at New England College.
3-4 p.m. Open Mic with special guest reader Kathy Gee. £5. Bring a poem to read and sign up at the door.
Kathy Gee’s career was in heritage. In 2016, her first collection, Book of Bones, was published by V. Press, and she wrote the spoken word elements for the choral piece, Suite for the Fallen Soldier. Individual poems have appeared in Butcher's Dog, Prole, The Interpreter's House, and Under the Radar, among other journals. Her new pamphlet, Checkout, was published by V. Press earlier this year.
4:30-5:30 p.m. Reading by Richard Scott and Roy McFarlane. £7
Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His pamphlet Wound (Rialto) won the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2016, and his poem "Crocodile" won the 2017 Poetry London Competition. Soho (Faber ) is his first book and was shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot Prize in 2018. He teaches poetry at the Faber Academy.
Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the surrounding Black Country, a former Birmingham Poet Laureate. His latest collection, The
Healing Next Time, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Winter 2018, one of The Guardian's best poetry titles of 2018, and shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award 2019.
7-7:45 p.m. Lucy English will present her international poetry film project, Book of Hours. £7
Lucy English is a spoken word poet and has toured widely in the UK, Europe, and North America. Her first collection of poetry, Prayer to Imperfection, was published by Burning Eye in 2014, while her second, The Book of Hours (Burning Eye, 2018), includes the poetry from the wider poetry film project which contains 48 poetry films made in conjunction with 27 collaborators. The Book of Hours was shortlisted for the New Media Awards in 2019.
8-9 p.m. Question Time-style panel with Lucy English, Dave Bonta, and Helen Dewbery. £7.
The audience will be invited to submit questions about poetry film to the panel.
Dave Bonta divides his time between London and his childhood home in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, USA. He's the author of several poetry pamphlets and the full-length collection Ice Mountain (Phoenicia Publishing, 2017), but his real work is online: at Via Negativa, a group literary blog where he's currently more than half-way through a project to make daily erasure poems from every entry in the Diary of Samuel Pepys; at The Morning Porch, where he posts daily prose micropoems; and at Moving Poems, where he's been showcasing the best poetry films from Vimeo and YouTube since 2009. His own videopoems have been screened around the world, and he's also collaborated as a poetic content provider for other video artists and filmmakers, including Marc Neys, Marie Craven, Lori Ersolmaz, and co-directors Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg.
With Helen Dewbery (see Our Team) and Lucy English (see bio above).
9:15-10:30 p.m. The Film Poetry Competition winners announced and screening of shortlisted and winning entries. £5.
The Film Poetry Competition was launched in February. At this event the winning entries will be announced and the shortlisted and winning films will be shown. The competition is run by Poetry Film Live.
Saturday 5th October
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Nuar Alsadir, "Making the Unconscious Conscious: Experimenting with Self-Generated Forms." £25.
In this workshop, we will think about what it would mean for a piece of writing to find its own form through the lens of psychoanalysis. One of the goals of psychoanalysis is for a person to discover the way their mind is wired, the patterns of thought, unconscious beliefs--not to fix them (align them with prototypes) but to have the awareness that is necessary in making conscious decisions as opposed to operating on a kind of autopilot. We will look at poems as expressions of mind, analyze how their form operates, and then try to use what we discover to generate new work in the room.
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Fiona Benson, "S/he do the police in different voices." £25.
This workshop will explore what happens when we let different voices into our poems. What do they say, how do they say it, and what imaginative worlds do they open up? How do these voices stir up the dynamics of a poem? Looking at examples ranging from John Berryman's Dream Songs to Daljit Nagra's Ramayana and Anne Carson's Red Doc>, we will work on conjuring different voices and inviting them to run amok in the varied rooms of our own poems.
1:30 to 2.30 p.m. Fiona Benson reading from her work, followed by a Q&A with Carrie Etter. £7.
Fiona Benson lives in rural Devon with her husband James Meredith and their daughters, Isla and Rose. Her pamphlet was Faber New Poets 1 in the Faber New Poets series, and her full-length collection Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape, 2014), received the Seamus Heaney Prize for first collection and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second book is Vertigo & Ghost (Cape, 2019)
3:00 to 4.00 p.m. Poets & Publishers - Carrie Etter is in conversation with publishers Claire Crowther of Long Poem Magazine and Sarah Leavesley of V. Press. £7.
Claire Crowther has published three full collections from Shearsman and five pamphlets, the latest of which, Knithoard from Happenstance, launched in June 2019. Her first collection was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Prize. Her poetry has been published in many journals including London Review of Books, Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, Poetry Wales, Times Literary Supplement. She writes reviews, teaches creative writing at Oxford University and was Poet in residence at the Royal Mint. She is now deputy editor of the Long Poem Magazine. She has been called ‘one of our most intelligent surrealists’.
Sarah Leavesley/Sarah James is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, featured in the Guardian, Financial Times, on the BBC and the Blackpool Illuminations. Her work ranges across nature, place, the environment, family, relationships, disability and more. Her latest books are How to Grow Matches (Against the Grain Press) and plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) both shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards. She also runs V. Press poetry and flash fiction imprint.
4:30 to 5.30 p.m. Claire Crowther and Sarah Leavesley read from their work. £7.
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Battered Moons prizegiving with reading by the judge Zoe Brigley and winners of the competition. The event is presented by Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton. £7.
Zoë Brigley grew up in Wales, and is now an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University in the US. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2003 and received a Welsh Academy bursary in 2005. Her first book of poems, The Secret (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008. Her second collection, Conquest (Bloodaxe Books, 2012), was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, as is her third collection, Hand & Skull (Bloodaxe Books, 2019). A book of her non-fiction essays, Notes from a Swing State, is due from Parthian Books in 2019. She also researches violence against women, and is co-editor of a volume of scholarly essays, Feminism, Literature, and Rape Narratives (Routledge, 2010).
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Poetry Pub Quiz. £7.
Come and join this fun event hosted by the festival co-director Carrie Etter. There are prizes to be won!
Sunday 6th October
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Zoë Brigley, "Letters to the World."
Lynette Roberts once told her friend, poet Alun Lewis, that on reading his letters, she was almost in love with him. Letters can seduce, entrance, bring sorrow or joy, but they are always intriguing. This workshop asks: what do poems and letters have in common? The group will consider what we might learn from the intimacy and directness of writing a letter, and we will investigate what happens if we address not only people but the things around us that create a fragile, beautiful, and intricate world.
10 a.m.-Noon at the Holiday Inn. Workshop with Hilda Sheehan, "The Spirit of Play."
When we play magic can happen and an unimaginable poetry can enter the mind, and perhaps the page, without boundaries, morality, or self-consciousness. Come and explore a marvellous fun and freedom with poet Hilda Sheehan for a cheeky session of artful naughtiness to find your hidden clown and release new work to please no one, and everyone! Find your Electrovox secrets, play the Game of Cinders, muddy the waters of your animarium and enjoy being confused, undrunken and definitely disorderly!
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Nuar Alsadir, our poet in residence, is reading from her work, followed by a Q&A with Hilda Sheehan. £7.
Nuar Alsadir is a poet, essayist and psychoanalyst. She is the author of the poetry collections Fourth Person Singular (Pavilion Poetry, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Forward Prize for Best Collection; and More Shadow Than Bird (Salt Publishing, 2012). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Granta, BOMB, The New York Times Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Poetry London and The Poetry Review. She is a fellow at The New York Institute for the Humanities and works as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York.
3:00 to 4.00 p.m. Open Mic with special guest reader Olivia Tuck. £5 (bring a poem to read and sign up on the door).
Olivia Tuck has had poetry and prose published in literary journals and webzines including Under the Radar, The Interpreter's House, Lighthouse, Algebra of Owls, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Amaryllis. Her work also features in the Fly on the Wall charity anthologies Please Hear What I'm Not Saying and Persona Non Grata. She is an autism and mental health warrior, and a BA Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University. Her pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know was published by Black Rabbit Press this year, and or this, she owes everything to her phenomenal Poetry Swindon friends!
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Elisabeth Bletsoe and Julia Copus will be reading from their work. £7.
Julia Copus was born in London in 1969 and now lives in Somerset. Her fourth collection, Girlhood, was published this year by Faber. Julia has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In 2018, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Elisabeth Bletsoe was born near Wimborne in Dorset and is currently the curator of Sherborne Museum. Her publications include Landscape from a Dream (Shearsman, 2008) and Pharmacopoeia & Early Selected Works (Shearsman, 2010). She has featured in various anthologies including Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, ed. Carrie Etter (Shearsman Books, Exeter, 2010), The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (Shearsman Books, Exeter, 2011) and more recently The Edge of Necessary: an Anthology of Welsh Innovative Poetry 1966-2018, eds. John Goodby and Lyndon Davies (Aquifer Books, 2018). Elisabeth is currently involved with the artist Frances Hatch, providing textual responses to her collages in the exhibition/publications Drawn to Antarctica and Chesil Moons. She has also collaborated with the Cambridge composer Kim B. Ashton who has set several poems from Pharmacopoeia and Birds of the Sherborne Missal to music for piano and full orchestra. Rightly admired for her ingenious lexical device, she is skilled at blending dialectical vernacular with specialised terminologies from the natural sciences, historiography, folklore and taxonomy...her synthesis of heterogeneous glossaries lends a deeply nuanced interplay between laminate aesthetics in the bricolage, unlocking a range of associated impressions at the foundation of these resonant meditations. (Chris Cornwell, The Lonely Crowd, 2017)
7:45 to late. Domestic Cherry Party with special guest Julia Webb. Join the editors for the biennial carnage that is the launch of the poetry magazine Domestic Cherry. Hosted by Hilda Sheehan. £7.
Julia Webb is a graduate of UEA's poetry MA. She llves in Norwich and is a poetry editor for Lighthouse Literary Journal. She is a poetry mentor and works for Gatehouse Press and Cafe Writers. In 2018 she won the Battered Moons Poetry competition. Her debut poetry collection Bird Sisters was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016, and a poem from it was highly commended in the Forward prize. Her second collection Threat was published by Nine Arches in 2019.
Monday 7th October
Farewell Brunch with the festival directors. £5.