Time Marches On…

Yes, February’s run its course and as we slip from winter into spring it’s time to begin planning in earnest for this year’s festival. The cut-off for event proposals is March 31st, which gives you a month to get your details to us for inclusion in the programme running between Sunday June 5th and Sunday June 26th.

Of course there’s more to a festival than just the events themselves: every event needs a venue, and there’s also the nuts and bolts stuff behind the scenes holding the whole thing together. The links below cover all three options, so whatever your interest (or interests) just follow the links below and fill in the forms! Don’t worry too much if you haven’t got all the details finalised yet, just give us as much information as you can to get the ball rolling.

Our final “Call to Action” for now is the simplest of all: if you know people who enjoy poetry as much as you do get them on board! Social media is all well and good but there’s nothing like word of mouth and personal recommendation to really build the buzz. Better yet, point your friends to the website and get them to sign up for the mailing list too.

More news soon, and get those proposals in ASAP!

Join Our Mailing List

Things will be happening thick and fast as we move closer to June and the start of this year’s festival. Make sure you hear it first by joining our mailing list. Just enter your email in the box under the promo video, click the button and we’ll do the rest!

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Season’s Greetings

On the cusp of a restricted Christmas and a New Year that may well open with another lockdown we would like to share our optimism for delivering an even bigger and better festival than our marvellous 2021 offering in 2022. We would also take this opportunity to thank those who helped us make it happen.

If you enjoyed last year’s festival and would like to be more actively involved please contact us. We will make good use of your talents whatever your area of expertise or interest. For the latest news you can follow us here on the website (link in the footer of every page) or on any/all of our social media accounts. We’ll be adding new ways of supporting the festival and keeping abreast of all the latest goings on early in the New Year. In the meantime, have wonderful holidays all, despite the complexities and restrictions.

Goodbye 2021, Here’s to 2022

Following an amazingly successful series of events for 2021 the festival committee met on Friday evening to officially wind up this year and start planning for 2022. Early days, but with a packed two week programme now under our belts despite the uncertainties arising from Covid and its lockdowns we feel confident that we can deliver an even bigger and better festival next year.

This year has been a major learning curve, but the universally positive feedback we have received has reassured us that we’re very much on the right track. Our aim from the outset was to deliver “poetry for all, big and small” and our community events certainly lived up to that intention. Next year, with fewer restrictions (we hope!) to contend with we’ll be offering many more opportunities for local poets to share their writing, for lovers of poetry to share their enthusiasm, and for those who might think that poetry isn’t their thing to discover that they DO like poetry after all!

As the final word on 2021 we would like to thank again everyone involved in getting the festival off the ground and all those who contributed their time and skills to creating the various events and workshops. A huge thank you too to all who attended those events, whether online or in the real world: we couldn’t have done it without you!

The gallery below features some highlights from this year. We were mostly too busy reading or listening to get our cameras out, so forgive us if your favourite event isn’t featured. Better yet, if you took pictures or video why not send them in and we’ll add them to the website…

That Went Well…

Charlie Bell: “Selfie”

The final event in our 2021 festival took place on Friday evening with festival committee chairman, Charlie Bell, hosting his “Lockdown Selfie” before a sell-out audience. As well as showcasing Charlie’s poetry and his personal reflections on the world events that have thrown all our lives into turmoil over the past eighteen months, the evening included music from The Gastric Band and further readings from guest poet Natalie Thomas. Raising over £500 in ticket sales and donations for McMillan Nurses, “Lockdown Selfie” proved a fitting end to our festival fortnight, which achieved everything we had hoped for and more.

Our goal when organising the festival was to provide a series of events that would offer “poetry for all, big or small”. This goal was certainly accomplished, most notably within our Wordplay Fun Day takeover of the Tunbridge Wells Forum, which catered for children of pre-school and school age at all skill levels with a series of writing workshops and art activities in the garden area. Adults were equally well catered for inside the building, with open mics and panel discussions, and an evening staged event celebrating humorous verse in popular culture throughout the ages. We were also delighted to offer a platform to Arts Without Boundaries, who shared their community poem, “Food”, to a highly entertained and appreciative audience.

It would be foolish to attempt to do justice to all of the events within the festival fortnight in this summary: our headline act, Luke Wright, the workshops and reading events, the open mics… If you found us too late for 2021 take a look at what you missed HERE, and make sure to book your seats early next year, when, Covid and other disasters – natural and unnatural – willing, we’ll be offering an even bigger and better bill of fare.

Finally, thank you to all who contributed to the festival fortnight, and to those who bought tickets, reserved places, or just dropped in on any of the events that took place. See you next year!