A rare and genuine joining of place, poetry and people.
That's Ledbury Poetry Festival according to Carol Ann Duffy and, if you're going to pick anyone to sum up your wordfest, who better than Britain's poet laureate.
To mark its 21st year, Ledbury's literature festival will present a "truly dazzling programme of events". Running from June 30 to July 9 2017, it's looking like another eclectic programme presenting poetry in various different art forms and, particularly for this year, out on the streets.
Speakers and poets already signed up include Eastenders actor Ann Mitchell, festival patron Juliet Stevenson, the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo, Denise Riley, Helen Mort, John Hegley, Inua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi, poet and stand-up comic Sean Hughes and the festival’s 2017 Poet in Residence Fiona Sampson.
Festival patron Juliet Stevenson, comic Sean Hughes, poet Kayo Chingonyi, and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo.
Sprawling onto the streets will be an ambitious programme of outdoor events and happenings.
There'll be Outdoor Magic, a large scale community project creating artwork that'll "wrap the town in poetry" (nope, we're not sure what that means either); and a marathon Poetry As Protest reading, a powerful follow up to 2016's collaboration with English PEN, raising the profile and championing the cause for imprisoned and persecuted writers.
Ledbury’s own William Langland will be celebrated in an open air re-imagining of his epic medieval poem Piers Plowman, led by Tom Chivers and Penned in the Margins.
There'll be multilingual poetry performances titled Seven Airs, feeding into large scale outdoor event created by Feral Theatre, and the first Translation Slam - a poetry slam with international artists curated in collaboration with Sasha Dugdale and Modern Poetry in Translation. xxx Versopolis will be back too, celebrating emerging European poets with their event that has become a festival highlight.
The festival will also run its Community Programme, its Schools Programme, and a New and Emerging Writers’ Programme (which runs year round), plus the annual Poetry Competition.
The full Ledbury Poetry Festival line up will be released early next year, with tickets going on general sale from May 20, 2017. Tickets for some major events and workshops will be available from early March 2017.
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