This was us just a couple of weeks before last year’s festival. We look surprisingly relaxed and cheerful which is strange looking back, as I think we were both quite nervous about a) having our photo taken b) setting up a festival from scratch and c) whether there would be a riot as people tried to get into the many sold out readings. There wasn’t a riot of course, poets are too well-behaved for all of that business, although there were some sad faces when people couldn’t get into the sold-out workshops.
This year we have another dream team of poets, gathered from all corners of the UK, and our first international poet, Linda Gregerson will be giving both a talk and a reading at the festival.
Last year the feedback was basically more of everything! So we have expanded our events this year. There are now three workshops available as opposed to the two workshops last year – one with Kathryn Maris on Saturday morning, one with Chrissy Williams on Saturday afternoon and one with Katrina Naomi on Sunday morning.
Last year people loved the ‘Tuning-In‘ event with Jane Routh, in fact it was listed as one of the highlights of the festival by many people. This year, we’ve got the wonderful Martin Kratz coming to give a whistle-stop tour around the festival poets. Kim has been working with Martin for the last year and has been blown away by his knowledge and passion for contemporary poetry, so we thought he would be the perfect successor to Jane. We’ve also taken a risk this year and programmed a few events at the same time as the workshops – this is a risk for us as it means splitting our audience, however we are hoping that those people who weren’t quick enough to book a place on the workshops, or didn’t fancy a workshop will come and support the readings and talks that are going on at the same time – and then no more disappointed poets!
Dove Cottage Young Poets has grown and we now have 12 members, as well as our members from last year, who come back to take part in the sessions during their holidays from university. The young poets will once again be an integral part of the festival, and will be reading alongside our festival poets.
We’re also really pleased to be working in partnership this year with Cumbria Libraries and Read Regional to bring the wonderful poet Jack Mapanje to this year’s festival as part of the 2017 Read Regional scheme. Ja
We are offering a 10% discount if you book 5 or more events before the 6th May – so please head over to The Brewery and book your tickets. Within one day of the tickets going on sale, we sold nearly a quarter of the tickets we have available for the festival. If you were one of the people who rushed to buy a ticket as soon as they went online, thank you very much. We really appreciate your support.
So please head over to the festival, and start booking your tickets! Hannah Hodgson, our Young Poet in Residence from last year will be doing some blogging this year, so keep your eye out for her first post which will be a short interview with one of our Festival Poets.