Meet our ‘Opening Doors’ Bursary recipients

Kendal Poetry Festival UK - Bringing a Poetry Festival to Kendal and the Lake District

We are very happy to announce the names of our three ‘Opening Doors’ bursary recipients.  We wanted to provide an opportunity for three writers to access the festival who might not otherwise be able to, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming Laura Potts, Frances Norton and Jamie Hale.  Laura, Frances and Jamie will receive accommodation over the weekend of the festival and a Festival Pass to access readings and discussions over the weekend.

Congratulations Laura, Frances and Jamie and another huge thank you to Ann from Brewery Poets who is hosting Laura and Frances for the weekend, and for Christine Webb, who provided a bursary for a writer who identifies as disabled.

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award and Lieder Poet at The University of Leeds, her work has appeared in Agenda, Prole and Poetry Salzburg Review. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.

Jamie Hale has written his whole life and studied English and Spanish BA (1st Hons).  He is interested in how poetry can sit alongside critical theory.  He explores the disruption of the relationship between self and body.  He has recently performed at the Saboteur Awards, Tate Modern and Barbican Centre.  His poetry has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, and his journalism has been published in the Guardian, Rooted in Rights, Unite magazine and the New Statesman.  He is currently developing a solo show exploring Shakespeare’s Richard III, and a nature poetry collection.

Frances Norton  lives with her husband and two teenage children. She is a lecturer and researcher at art school and a practicing artist,  musician and a poet. Her art work and poetry are about the patterns of life, and how that sequence believed to be unshakable, immovable, impermeable can become an interrupted ornament, and the variations,  imperfections,  mishaps and diversions that make life interesting. Her poetry and painting reflect and mirror each other.

Announcing the Line Up for Kendal Poetry Festival 2017!


The 2017 Kendal Poetry Festival

Dream Team

We will be announcing details of workshops, talks, open mics and a more detailed programme very soon, but for now, please enjoy reading about our 2017 Kendal Poetry Festival Poets.



Jack Mapanje

Originally from Malawi, Jack Mapanje lives in exile in New York after he was arrested and imprisoned for publishing his first book of poems. His most recent book is Greetings from Grandpa (Bloodaxe 2016).

Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe’s first poetry collection Chick (Bloodaxe 2013) won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection. In September 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation poets. Hannah will be reading from her latest collection Chan.

Martin Kratz

Martin Kratz publications include a book of experimental writing Mount London by Penned in the Margins (co-editor), as well as a wide range of poetry. He regularly collaborates with the composer Leo Geyer and together they have written several successful opera projects.

William Letford

William Letford’s debut collection Bevel was published by Carcanet in 2012. He has taken part in translation projects through Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine, and in 2014 a chapbook of his poetry Potom Koža Toho Druhého was translated in Slovakian and published by Vertigo.  William will be reading from his latest collection Dirt.



Kathryn Maris

Kathryn Maris is originally from New York and has lived in London since 1999. Her two collections are The Book of Jobs (Four Way Books, 2006) and God Loves You (Seren, 2013). Her third collection, The House with Only an Attic and a Basement, will be published by Penguin UK in 2018.

Chrissy Williams

Chrissy Williams is a poet, editor and tutor living in London. Her first book-length collection Bear is published by Bloodaxe in May 2017. She currently works as a comics editor on the New York Times bestselling series The Wicked + The Divine.

Inua Ellams

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer. He facilitates workshops in creative writing where he explores reoccurring themes in his work of identity, displacement and destiny.  He will be reading from his latst collection #Afterhours published by Nine Arches Press.

Katrina Naomi

Katrina Naomi’s poetry has appeared in The TLS, The Spectator and The Poetry Review, and has been broadcast on Radio 4. Her second collection, The Way the Crocodile Taught Me, was published by Seren (2016), and praised by Vicki Feaver for its ‘cool voice and fierce eye’.

Malika Booker

Malika Booker is a British writer, poet and multi-disciplinary artist of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage. Her collection Pepper Seed came out with Peepal Tree Press in 2013 and longlisted for the OCM Bocas 2014 prize.  Her 2017 publication is The Penguin Modern Poet Series 3: Your Family: Your Body, where she will be published with the poets Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire.

Tim Liardet

Twice shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, for The World Before Snow (Carcanet) in 2015 and The Blood Choir (Seren) in 2006, Tim Liardet has produced ten collections of poetry to date. He is currently a Poetry Book Society selector and Professor of Poetry at Bath Spa University, England.



Linda Gregerson

Linda Gregerson is the author of six collections of poetry and two volumes of criticism. Gregerson’s essays on lyric poetry and Renaissance literature appear in leading journals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. Her most recent, Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2015.

Ian Duhig       

Ian Duhig has written seven books of poetry. A former homelessness worker, Duhig still works with socially excluded groups though now on writing projects and is currently developing a piece for Refugee Tales.  His latest collection The Blind Roadmaker (Picador 2016) was shortlisted for the Roehampton, Forward Best Collection and TS Eliot Prizes