In recent years, a love of poetry in Swindon has been growing rapidly with more and more people picking up a book of poems to read, brandishing pens to write, or sitting down to creatively tap away on their keyboards.
The town is ready for a festival dedicated to poetry and poets says co-organiser Hilda Sheehan. “Not only have we got a lot of people involved with poetry in the town but regularly we have poets coming here from all over the country. They seem to like the real appreciation for poetry in Swindon and the desire to hear, read, and enjoy great poems.”
Supported by Culture Swindon’s Artswords, there are reading groups, writing groups and open mic poetry events almost every week somewhere in Swindon.
Next year, the Swindon Festival of Literature will celebrate its 20th anniversary so what better time to launch an end of year outing for readers and writers of poetry says festival director Matt Holland. “We feel that the time is right for the established Spring festival of literature to have an autumn sister: focussed on poetry.
“Now that we have prize-winning poets and keen readers and lovers of literature in town, we want both to serve them well and develop and embrace an even wider audience for poetry.”
Plans for the new six-day Swindon Festival of Poetry, from 4 to 9 October, are now well underway. The programme will have up to twenty events, aimed at all tastes and ages, taking place in a variety of venues including the Central Library, Swindon Arts Gallery, Lower Shaw Farm, Artsite, and The Platform.
The festival will not only showcase poetic talent from Swindon and the surrounding area but also include known names and celebrity poets, like Robert vas Dias, Jo Bell, and Pam Ayres.
There will also be a vintage bus tour that will celebrate Swindon with poems and pleasure along the way.
To find out more, contact Hilda: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving forces behind the new Swindon Festival of Poetry, from left, Michael Scott, Matt Holland and Hilda Sheehan