The Clock is Ticking…

Yes, we’re really shifting up a gear as we finalise the event listings for what is now a very packed festival.

In addition to the staged events detailed in the image above you’ll also find a host of workshops and reading events, meetups, panel discussions and open mics featuring poets local and international. With a good mix of virtual and real world interaction there are opportunities for all to get involved, despite the complications of Covid-19.

Tickets are now available for almost all events (check individual events for links) and the few events that remain to be finalised will be added shortly, so remember to check back regularly. We’ll also be adding a full, chronological listings page for quick reference, downloadable to the device of your choice, so you need never miss a thing!

Under Starter’s Orders…

And we are very happy to confirm our first official events of the 2021 Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival as we take over the Tunbridge Wells Forum for the afternoon and evening of August 22nd.

While full details of what will be on offer are still being confirmed we can safely say that the planned programme will be very special indeed, kicking off from 2:00pm with a free entry Wordplay Fun Day that will appeal to all ages. With a range of activities encompassing poetry workshops through to live performance, readings, open mics and panel discussions there will be opportunities for all to get involved and create something unique, or to relax and be entertained by others flexing their creative muscles.

The Wordplay Fun Day will wind down in time for tea with the venue briefly closing while we catch our breath before throwing wide the doors again at 7:00 for our evening event, The Pam Slam Grand Slam. The Pam Slam, rescheduled from last year, is a ticketed event celebrating all aspects of humorous verse from its earliest days as performance art in the amphitheatres of ancient Greece through to the present. This journey will include familiar favourites from the comic verse canon, together with songs and sketches inspired by them. With the emphasis firmly on words and wordplay, the Pam Slam Open Mic section of the evening will offer local poets the opportunity to put on their Ayres and graces with their own Pam-style verses.

More news and events coming soon, with something VERY special only a couple of dotted I’s away from confirmation, so watch this space!

Hello Again

Welcome back from all at the Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival. After Covid-19 put paid to our 2020 event we are keen to get up and running again this year. While the ongoing situation demands that we proceed with caution, we are pleased to advise that plans are taking shape for two major events in late August, to be augmented with workshops and similar community projects once dates and venues have been finalised.

More news coming soon, but in the meantime we would like to whet your appetite with an online version of Kent & Sussex Poetry Society’s 2020 Folio, showcasing the poetry of local writers, several of whom are involved in organising the Festival itself.

The Best Laid Plans…

Ah, we had so many good things lined up for you this summer, but sadly coronavirus and lockdown had different plans and it’s time now to reluctantly put this year’s festival to bed.

Fear not, though, we will be back next year (unless something equally unexpected and wide-reaching scuppers our plans again!) and if the interest generated by this year’s non-event is anything to go by it can only mean bigger and better things to come.

At this stage, of course, we are in the same boat as everyone else and have not a clue what the next few months will hold, but if opportunities do present themselves between now and 2021 for group events to go ahead we’ll certainly do our best to take advantage of them. For now, though, it only remains to say farewell and to hope that 2021 will be kinder to us.


And welcome to this the first message from The Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival, 2020. As I write it is early March, and plans for the festival are starting to solidify. You can find details of the individual events elsewhere on this website, along with a brief account of how the festival came about, but this “Latest News” area will become increasingly relevant as we approach the official starting line in June.

Here, at the outset, we would like to thank Kent & Sussex Poetry Society for taking up the baton and helping sponsor the event, particularly those members of the society who are directly involved with the admin and promotion of the festival. We would also thank those who will be contributing to and/or hosting the many happenings listed: a considerable mix of talent offering workshops, musical and spoken-word events, art collaborations, and open mics at various venues around our lovely town. There will also be a number of off-piste “pop-ups” yet to be fully imagined, but let’s not ruin the surprise with speculation!

Looking briefly backwards, thanks should also go to those who helped organise the first festival in 2018 for offering such solid foundations on which to build. The gallery below offers a small selection of pictures from some of the venues and events that took place then…