Welcome to the Kendal Poetry Festival
You’ll always find a friendly welcome at Kendal Poetry Festival, along with some of the brightest stars of the UK contemporary poetry scene. And with our move online, from 19th – 28th February 2021, you’ll also find a nine day wall-to-wall, cutting-edge poetry experience.
From early morning writing workshops with the festival directors, through to evening events with international poetry stars, every day is packed with readings, talks, open mikes, panel discussions, talks, stage shows and more.
The festival began in 2016 and ran through to 2018 under the leadership of Kim Moore and Pauline Yarwood. The festival returns again from the 19th-28th February 2021 with Kim Moore and Clare Shaw as co-directors of the festival. With our trademark emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility, we continue to offer free tickets to young people and people with disabilities. We have extended our offer to include all local care home staff and residents, we have expanded our Open Doors scheme, and a proportion of our events are free of charge to all participants. We are also offering a Festival Pass for £60. This pass will give you access to twenty readings – saving you a huge £40 (if you bought each ticket individually).
Though we can’t be together in Kendal this year, our festival retains its local flavour, as our Guerrilla Poetry project brings poetry into the heart of the town centre. And young people are still at the core of our festival - members of Dove Cottage Young Poets will perform alongside our guest poets, and the festival features a Young Poet, Young Musician and Young Blogger in Residence - and in 2021, our first Young Artist in Residence.
These are difficult, distant times, but poetry brings us together. Whether it's your first time at our festival or whether you’ve been before, whether you're in Kendal or Canada, Windermere or Wisconsin, we’re happy to have you with us.
This year the festival will take place on Zoom. All audience members will be issued with invitations when they buy their tickets to two free half-hour sessions: “Zoom for Beginners”: Thursday 4th February, 19.00; and “How to make the Most of Your Online Festival Experience”: Thursday 11th February, 19.00.
We will be using the Otter transcription app for every event at the festival. Otter uses Artificial Intelligence to create a real-time transcription and subtitles. Whilst we recognise that this service will not be 100% accurate, we hope the relatively high level of accuracy will make our events more accessible.
We will also invite all poets taking part in the festival to screen share the poems they are planning to read. Although we cannot guarantee all readings will be screen-shared, we hope by having these conversations between organisations and performers, we can start to work together to improve accessibility.
We recognise the extra financial strain that people who identify as disabled are under, particularly in the current climate. Kendal Poetry Festival would like to offer free tickets to all readings to anyone who identifies as disabled. We are also committed to the creativity and nurturing of young people and would like to offer free tickets to anyone under the age of 18. This year we have also extended our offer to any residents of care homes in Cumbria.
Brewery Poets have been meeting in Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre for many years, holding monthly workshops and twice yearly readings. Throughout the festival, you will see many members of the group volunteering at events. Members of Brewery Poets are drawn from across Cumbria and Lancashire and include Festival Director Kim Moore.
For more details about the group, please check out our website.
Dove Cottage Young Poets
Dove Cottage Young Poets meet every other Friday from 3.45- 5.45pm in Kendal to read, discuss and write poetry with poet and Festival Director Kim Moore. These sessions are funded by The Wordsworth Trust. Dove Cottage Young Poets regularly attend poetry events, perform their own work and some have recently achieved their Bronze Arts Award. If you are a young writer between the ages of 14 and 21 and are interested in joining the group please email Kim Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brewery Arts Centre
The Brewery Arts Centre is one of the leading arts centres in the UK offering an extensive programme of events in theatre, spoken word, dance, music, comedy, cinema and visual arts. The Grainstore Restaurant, The Vats Bar and The Warehouse Café-bar all offer excellent menus.
Kendal Library was opened on the 20th of March 1909 by Kendal Mayor Mr J. Banks, and is part of Kendal’s rich architectural heritage. It is in the heart of the town centre, on Stricklandgate, and is a much loved part of the community.