Not only have we a bigger festival this year but a host of new locations to accommodate it. The venues below have all kindly offered space for performances, and we are also pleased to include the spanking-new Southborough Civic Centre as a base for several of our workshops. Follow the links below for further information and maps.
Arty Farty Studios: Nell and her team at Arty Farty were part of last year’s Wordplay Fun Day and will be coming back again this year for more of the same. They have also opened their doors for Charlie Bell and his Poems and Pictures workshop, considering wider art forms as inspiration for written art.
Even Flow: A record store and café bar that’s no stranger to open mic nights or spoken word . If your vinyl collection is missing a vital slice of Gil Scott-Heron then Even Flow is probably your best chance locally for locating it. Hosting our first Poets in Pubs night of the festival, and we’ve got our eye on their basement too for further collaborations.
Gils Lap, Ashdown Forest: Home of Winnie the Pooh and friends, Ashdown Forest really lives up to the ‘enchanted place’ title bestowed upon it by A. A. Milne. Following on from last year’s hugely successful Poetry Bathing, resident poet Siân Thomas invites us back for further nature inspired workshopping with Going to Ground.
Grosvenor & Hilbert Hub: Nestled in the centre of the beautiful G&H park, this venue is ideal for word-based workshops and other small group activities. The hub is hosting three events for us this year covering collaborative “Poetry Pods“, Myths and Legends as sources of inspiration, and a Poetry 101 for those exploring poetry for the first time.
King Charles the Martyr Church: The first Church on our alphabetical list but the second music and recital evening in our festival programme. More details coming soon.
Penshurst Church: St John the Baptist Church offers a beautiful and historic venue for our first musical recital of the festival, Imaginary Landscapes. Situated alongside, and serving, Penshurst Place, we would recommend those attending Imaginary Landscapes to arrive early and make a day of it. We can assure you that the short walk to The Leicester Arms for pre-event wining and dining would only add to the sense of occasion.
Rusthall Club: Playing host to the second of our Poets in Pubs nights, the Rusthall Club is a community hub for just about everything, including, now, spoken-word based variety entertainment as part of the Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival. We can’t wait!
Southborough Civic Centre: A lovely new building with ample (and free!) parking right in the centre of Southborough. Hosting three workshops covering Performance Poetry, Eco-Poetry and Form and Structure as well as Charlie Bell’s second festival “Selfie“, we are delighted to have this bright new space available to us.
The Plant Base: The final venue on our Poets in Pubs tour and what a lovely way to round things off. A virgin venue as far as open mics go but this whole food restaurant and bar offers everything we (and you) need and more for an evening of superb word-based variety entertainment. We hope this will be the first of many such events.
Trinity Theatre: We are delighted to include the Trinity as a festival venue this year. Playing host to our festival headliner, the not-to-be-missed Henry Normal, the Trinity has also offered their café style foyer space for our Eco Poetry Night and Pop-Up-Poetry showcase afternoon.
Tunbridge Wells Forum: We kick off our festival at the town’s most celebrated grassroots music venue with a soft-launch-showcase as part of UnFest on Saturday 4th June. After a three week tour we return there on Sunday 26th June for our grand finale, the Wordplay Fun Day and Verse-a-tility Variety Show, celebrating poetry as entertainment in spoken word, comedy, sketch and song. More details coming soon.