By Emma Christie
Poetry Swindon Festival celebrates 100 years of the Dada movement at the official programme launch on 12 August.
The launch took place at Swindon Central Library with a selection of readings from Festival organisers and a speech by Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Eric Shaw. He said: “I was part of the generation brought up on poetry, and I am pleased that it is still being celebrated.”
He went on to thank Arts Council England for their involvement.
This year’s theme is the Dadaist poetry movement that grew from the First World War and focused on nonsensical and often satirical art forms.
Matt Holland, Swindon Festival of Literature and Poetry Festival founder, read a poem at the launch in Spanish, and admitted the Google translation to English made the broken poetry ‘Dada-esque’.
This is the 5th year for the festival after being created as an offspring of the Swindon Literature Festival, and has proved so popular that it has been increased from 5 days to 11 days long. The festivities are split into two parts, beginning with the community festival and finishing with the Big Poetry Weekend which coincides with National Poetry Day. Both feature a multitude of events across Swindon taking place at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Savernake Street Hall and Swindon Arts Centre.
Chair of Poetry Swindon, Maurice Spillane, said at the launch: “You’d be surprised at how many published poets are in Swindon and how the festival attracts big names in poetry who are glad to come to Swindon.”
This year there will be readings from one of the top poets in the UK, Anne-Marie Fyfe.
The festival runs from Thursday 29 September to Wednesday 5 October, followed by the Big Poetry Weekend from Thursday 6 October to Sunday 9 October. Both feature a selection of readings, workshops, open mic events and children’s events.
For more information and to book tickets visit: www.poetryswindon.org . Tickets can also be booked at Swindon Central Library.
Poetry Swindon 2016 is funded by Arts Council England and Swindon Artswords.