Saturday 23 October

All events via Zoom
Tickets will be available on Eventbrite soon

Saturday, 23 October

10:30-12:30, £15
“Risks and Reboots” with John McCullough: How far do you stretch yourself as a poet? This workshop will encourage you to engage in thematic and formal departures, asking participants to begin poems from a range of surprising angles. We’ll discuss areas like reading and writing outside your comfort zone, experimenting with lines and stanzas, radical editing and techniques concerning composition and research that will help you to steer your writing into new territory.

John McCullough lives in Hove. His latest book of poems, Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins) won the 2020 Hawthornden Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. In the Times Literary Supplement, head judge for the Hawthornden, Christopher Reid, described it as ‘a rare literary phenomenon . . . a frank and militant declaration of joy.’ John has won other awards, including the Polari First Book Prize, and his collections have been named Books of the Year in The Independent, The Guardian, andThe Observer. His poem ‘Flower of Sulphur’ is on the shortlist for this year’s Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

2-3:00, £5
Carrie Etter hosts Poets & Publishers with Martha Sprackland of Offord Road Books and Naush Sabah of Poetry Birmingham Review and Pallina Press.

Naush Sabah is Editor and Publishing Director at Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal. She is a trustee at Poetry London and a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University. Her writing has appeared in the TLS, PN Review, The Dark Horse, Magma and elsewhere. Her pamphlet Litanies is forthcoming with Guillemot Press in November 2021.

Open Mic
hosted by Helen Dewbery
Join us for a one poem, maximum 40 lines, open mic featuring regular festival goers, volunteers, and new voices. Sign up in advance via Eventbrite.  

8:30-9:45, £5
Evening reading with John McCullough, Elena Karina Byrne, Patricia Smith. Hosted by Carrie Etter.

Elena Karina Byrne is a freelance editor, 25-year Poetry Consultant & Moderator for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, poetry programs curator for the Craft Contemporary Museum, and Literary Programs Director for the historic Ruskin Art Club. She has taught or lectured at numerous institutions and organisations including the Poetry School, Cambridge University, University of Southern California, The Los Angeles Film School, and elsewhere.

A Pushcart Prize recipient, Byrne’s most recent collections are If This Makes You Nervous (Omnidawn, 2021) and No Don’t (What Books Press, 2020); individual poems have appeared in Poetry, The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, BOMB, and elsewhere.She is now completing her first screenplays, short stories, and a collection of hybrid essays entitled Voyeur Hour: Poetry, Art, Film, & Desire.

Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (Northwestern University Press 2017),winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the NAACP Image Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize;Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012), winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008), a National Book Award finalist. She is a Guggenheim fellow, an NEA grant recipient, a former fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell, a professor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, a creative writing lecturer at Princeton University, and a distinguished professor for the City University of New York. She is currently at work on her first novel and second children’s picture book.

10-10:30 Drop-in poetry cafe hosted by Sarah Dixon
Join fellow festival goers to talk about the day’s events in this informal gathering.

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