Festivals Tuesday, May 23rd Words by: Adam Knight, pictures by: Facebook/BejanMatur, Shetland Arts

Put A Date In Your Diary: Scientist Richard Dawkins joins a bill of top poets for Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017

Festivals Tuesday, May 23rd

Put A Date In Your Diary: Scientist Richard Dawkins joins a bill of top poets for Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017

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What: Ledbury Poetry Festival

Where: Lebury, various venues

Who: Simon Armitage, Larry Lamb, Bejan Matur, Thomas Lynch

When: June 30 - July 9

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Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature – apparently – so in many ways it’s the most natural thing in the world to invite one of the country’s pre-eminent scientists to the UK’s biggest celebration of the poetic word, Ledbury Poetry Festival.

And Richard Dawkins will not be lone non-lyricist in attendance at the 2017 event. This year's programme has brought together a diverse group of public figures, with varying levels of celebrity from the outspoken ex-politician Paddy Ashdown to Mock The Week funnyman Hugh Dennis.

It will, of course, also feature some of the most exciting and innovative poets from across the world. Romanian legend Ana Blandiana, Bejna Matur and American undertaker-poet Thomas Lynch are on the bill, alongside a host of intellegent activities and workshops, the kind Ledbury fest has offered since its inception 20 years ago.

Unbelievably, it has been that long. Along the 20-year road Ledbury's annual revelry has been called "the best in the country" by ex-laureate Andrew Motion and "one of the most exciting and important literary festivals in England" by Carol Ann Duffy.

This edition will see 135 events taking place over 10 days. Tickets go on sale on May 20.

A fair chunk will fall under the Outdoor Magic umbrella – “[exploding] like a party popper over the streets of Ledbury”. Which sounds exciting as long as – as we all learned about party poppers – it’s not pointed directly at people’s faces.

If that's not enough, Larry Lamb Off Eastenders will be doing a Poetry Jukebox Session, reading poems called out by a live audience. Cor blimey.

To view the full programme, and for more info, head to the Ledbury Poetry Festival website.

@ledburyfest | #LPF2017

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