Countdown to three big festivals in early 2016

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Write Out Loud  is looking forward to the first big festivals of 2016. The year’s curtain raiser is invariably Scotland’s Stanza poetry festival, pictured, taking place this year from 2-6 March at St Andrews.

Each year, Stanza focuses on two themes – this year’s are City Lines, and Body of Poetry. Matthew Sweeney, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Pascale Petit, Martyn Crucefix, Jo Shapcott, and Sean O’Brien will be joined by poets from Australia, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Georgia, Ireland and the US, delivering around 100 readings, performances and discussions, plus music and film events, and workshops. More details

Poets at York literature festival from 10-23 March include Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope, Chrissy Williams, Inua Ellams, and John McAuliffe. There’s also a reading by Pennine Poets, celebrating their 50th birthday with a new anthology, and a closing festival party, compered by Kate Fox, with Ben Wilkinson, Peter Knaggs, Jim Higo, Steve Nash, and Helen Mort. More details

Wenlock poetry festival’s lineup in April includes Gillian Clarke, Lemn Sissay, Daljit Nagra, Hollie McNish, Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jonathan Edwards, Paul Henry, Robin Robertson, Jean Sprackland and Greta Stoddart. The festival in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, from 22-24 April, will be celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare, and there will also be workshops, a children’s marquee, art exhibitions, a prosecco bar, and music, plus the poetry busk with Liz Lefroy and poems and pints with Mark Niel. Tickets go on sale from 1 February. More details





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