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.
After delivering an online festival in 2021, we are thrilled to be running our first hybrid festival this year, from the 23rd-26th June 2022, with events available in person or from the comfort of your own sofa.
This is the fifth Kendal Poetry Festival, and this year co-directors Kim Moore and Clare Shaw are very pleased to be able to welcome Katie Hale as Festival Co-Ordinator. Many of you may know Katie through her excellent work with our Guerilla Poetry project and we’re very happy that her work with us is expanding and developing.
For the first time, the festival will be based in the centre of Kendal at our new home, the Brewery Arts Centre, but we will also be filling the town with poetry through our guerrilla poetry projects and outreach events at The Factory, Kendal Library and Outside In.
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 and more.
For the first time the festival will be hosting an exhibition – we are very excited to be bringing the ‘Painting the Poets’ exhibition by artist Clae Eastgate into Kendal. Clae’s portrait of Jackie Kay is now in place in the National Gallery of Scotland – but she will be showcasing some of the other female poets she has been painting, and talking about the links between portraiture and poetry.
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. For the first time this year, we will also have a dedicated ‘Children’s Poetry’ strand of the festival, featuring a full day of events for under 14s, whilst the run-up to the festival will feature a series of events for 14-18 year-olds: their work be showcased at the festival.
With our trademark emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility, we continue to offer free tickets to young people and disabled people. We are also offering a Festival Pass for £45 This pass will give you access to 11 readings, talks and open mics – saving you £10 (if you bought each ticket individually).
Our Opening Doors scheme this year will continue to provide opportunities for poets on a low income to attend the festival, and a proportion of our events are free of charge.
Last year we were not able to be together in person at the festival, but we made connections in the virtual world. The pandemic bought huge change to our festival, the country and the world, and this year looks set to be no different. However, we are determined to take forward the lessons that we learnt about accessibility - and we continue to build a more accessible festival and a literary community.
In 2021, we wrote that these are ‘difficult, distant times, but poetry brings us together’. Now more than ever, we need those words, and that belief. We are looking forward to seeing you, whether that’s in person or as part of our online audience – we’re very happy to have you with us.
The Brewery Poets are a group who have been running for over thirty years. They meet once a month in Kendal to share work and give feedback to each other. You’ll meet many of its members throughout the weekend at the festival, where they can be found volunteering, or reading at our popular ‘Afternoon Tea’ event.
Thanks to the following Sponsors and Partners for funding and supporting the Kendal Poetry Festival.