Perfect! This year's Wenlock poetry festival notches up new firsts

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One of the friendliest poetry festivals around, situated in one of the nicest spots in the country, is gearing up for a weekend of firsts. Wenlock poetry festival in Shropshire was founded by Anna Dreda, owner of the independent bookshop Wenlock Books, in 2010, and has since been described by its founding patron, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, as “the perfect place for poetry”. This year over the weekend of 24-26 April many top names are making their first appearances at Wenlock, including Michael Rosen, Kathleen Jamie, Hollie McNish, Maurice Riordan, and Jonathan Edwards. The festival will also have its first poet in residence (Jean Atkin), and publisher in residence (Jane Commane of Nine Arches Press).

Other top names on the bill include Luke Wright, Kei Miller, David Morley, Jo Bell, Hannah Lowe, Luke Kennard, and Liz Berry. There’s also a poetry slam, poems and pints in the pub, the Emergency Poet, and an event called Expanding the Universe in 45 Minutes with an astrophysicist, a musician, and two poets, Emma Purshouse and Nadia Kingsley in their mobile planetarium dome. The festival concludes with a gala performance on Sunday night with Carol Ann Duffy, Imtiaz Dharker, Jean Atkin and Little Machine. More details



Cheltenham poetry festival, from 22 April 

Wenlock poetry festival, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 24-26 April 

Live from Worktown, Bolton's festival of words, from 24 April



Cheltenham poetry festival, until 4 May 

Live from Worktown, Bolton's festival of words, until 30 May 

Poetry-next-the-sea, Wells next-the-sea, Norfolk, 8-10 May 

South Yorkshire poetry festival, 18-24 May

The Last Word festival, Roundhouse, London, 19-31 May 

Bodmin Moor poetry festival, Liskeard, Cornwall, 29-31 May



Charles Causley festival, Launceston, Cornwall, 12-14 June 

Bridlington poetry festival, 19-21 June 

Poetry & Words, Glastonbury festival 24-28 June 



Ledbury poetry festival, 3-12 July


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