Welshpool Poetry Festival 9-10 June

THERE’S not long to wait now until the 3rd Welshpool Poetry Festival gets under way on 9th and 10th June. This year’s events are sponsored by Arts Council Wales and the Rotary Club of Oswestry through their Mary Hignett Bequest Fund.

Organiser, Pat Edwards, told us “Young People’s Laureate for Wales, Sophie McKeand, will get us off to a flying start with her Education Outreach Day for pupils at Ysgol Maesydre on Friday 9th June. She joins award-winning poets James Sheard and Emergency Poet, Deborah Alma, for a sparkling evening of poetry readings at Welshpool Library from 7.30pm on Friday night.” Tickets are just £7.50 to include a free glass of wine or soft drink.

On Saturday 10th June there are various workshops at venues in the town and The Emergency Poet will be in her ambulance at Church House from 1pm prescribing poetry to soothe and heal. Then from 4 – 6pm there is an Open Mic event at The Church House. Anyone can turn up on the day and book a slot to read their own poetry. “This is a free event ideal for new and emerging poets who have some work to try out in front of an audience” said Pat, “and I would encourage people to bring friends and supporters along so that we have a great atmosphere. You can also bring your own favourite tipple and enjoy a couple of hours of varied poetic styles and voices.”

The Festival highlight is at 7.30pm in the Church House, where two of the most exciting, current and in-demand young writers around will be reading. Helen Mort has been described by the Daily Telegraph as “the standout poet of her generation”. Luke Kennard’s latest collection ‘Cain’ was selected as book of the year by both The Guardian and The

Sunday Times. During the evening, the winner of the Open Poetry Competition judged by James Sheard, will be announced. Tickets for this fantastic closing event are also just £7.50 to include a complimentary drink. Full details of the entire programme are available at www.welshpoolpoetryfestival.org.uk where there is also a link to book tickets, or you can purchase tickets on the door.

Finally, Pat told us “this is a small but friendly Festival on a mission to de-bunk the idea that poetry is too difficult for ordinary people to understand. Poetry can speak to us all about the everyday issues and emotions we have in common. It can make us laugh, cry, shake our fists or just nod in recognition. Thanks in advance for all your support. I know you won’t be disappointed.”

Pictured: Oswestry Rotary Club President Ian Haigh and the Festival organisers Mike and Pat Edwards