Read all about it as poetry festival returns to Notts venues this summer

Nottingham Poetry Festival is to return with a supersized ten days of blistering performances, open mics, workshops, panels and events in an annual celebration of words to delight people across the area.
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​Running from June 7 to 16, the festival features headline shows from Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hollie McNish and Michael Pedersen, Luke Wright and Anthony Joseph, with the full programme set to be released in April. Tickets are on sale now for these announced shows.

Get ready to enjoy the biggest and most ambitious programme yet for the festival’s eighth year, under the direction a new creative director brought in for her experience of working in the community arts sector, with a specific focus on the talent development of young artists, wellbeing and community events.

A number of community organisations are taking part in creative activities to bring new voices and perspectives to the festival.

​Luke Wright is among the headliners at this year’s Nottingham Poetry Festival​Luke Wright is among the headliners at this year’s Nottingham Poetry Festival
​Luke Wright is among the headliners at this year’s Nottingham Poetry Festival

The groups include Nottingham Black Archive, the Young Carers Association, Big White Shed, First Story, Cultural Vibrations, and Kavya Rang.

Festival creative director Alma Solarte-Tobón said: “Community is at the heart of this festival. We have a fantastic core of poetry lovers who tell us how much they enjoy coming each year.

"Now we want to reach out to those who don’t know us. We all start our journey into poetry in different ways, but it’s something that can be accessible to everyone.”

The community engagement will build on previous success which saw last year’s poetry festival engaging with 1,000 participants, as well as continuing to work closely with local partners to reach a broader audience, showcasing local artists alongside award-winning poets, providing workshop opportunities in underrepresented communities, family poetry activities and school engagement.

Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the headliners at the festival (Photo by Fabrice Gagos)Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the headliners at the festival (Photo by Fabrice Gagos)
Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the headliners at the festival (Photo by Fabrice Gagos)

The festival founded by poet Henry Normal and Confetti CEO Craig Chettle has become an integral part of the area’s cultural life, attracting audiences from all over the country.

Henry Normal will again be embarking on his library tour around the Inspire libraries of Nottinghamshire County Council, shining a light on the vital role they play.

The 2023 event engaged with more than 3,000 people enjoying performances, creative activities, talks and workshops across pubs, bookshops, libraries, theatres and community venues.

The festival has been awarded National Lottery Project Funding by Arts Council England and is supported by It’s in Nottingham, NTU, Confetti Media Group and Castle Rock Brewery.

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