Gregory Leadbetter – Poetry Salon 16th May 2017

Poet Gregory Leadbetter in conversation with Chloe Garner in front of an audience in The Haywain at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle. The Fetch is Gregory Leadbetter’s first collection published by Nine Arches. He is currently Director of the MA in Creative Writing and the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing at Birmingham City University. “The Read More …

Rhiannon Hooson – Poetry Salon 6th April 2017

Poet Rhiannon Hooson in conversation with Chloe Garner in front of an audience in The Panelled Room of The Master’s House in Ledbury Rhiannon Hooson’s debut collection is The Other City, published by Seren. She was born in Mid Wales and now lives in the Welsh marches after time spent living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. “This Read More …

Nichola Deane – Poetry Salon 7 March 2017

Nichola Deane in conversation with Chloe Garner in front of an audience in The Panelled Room of The Master’s House in Ledbury. Trieste by Nichola Deane is one of the Laureate’s Choice series of pamphlets, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy and published by The Poetry Business. Nichola Deane was born in Bolton and now lives Read More …

Pia Tafdrup – Poetry Salon 16 February 2017

Pia Tafdrup in conversation with Chloe Garner in front of an audience in The Panelled Room in The Master’s House, Ledbury and reads poems in English and Danish. Pia Tafdrup is one of Denmark’s leading poets and has received the Nordic Literature Prize – Scandinavia’s most prestigious literary award. She has published three collections with Bloodaxe Read More …

Philip Gross – Poetry Salon Tuesday 8 November 2016

Philip Gross is a poet, and a keen collaborator across artforms. The Water Table won the T.S.Eliot Prize 2009, and Love Songs of Carbon the Roland Mathias Award (Wales Book of The Year) 2016. His latest collaborative publication, with artist Valerie Coffin Price, is A Fold In The River (Seren, 2015). His libretto for The Read More …

Deborah Alma – Poetry Salon 11th October 2016

Deborah Alma has an MA in Creative Writing, taught Writing Poetry at Worcester University and is Honorary Research Fellow at Keele University. Deborah is also Emergency Poet in her vintage ambulance and is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology , The Everyday Poet- Poems to live by (both published by Michael O’Mara), and her Read More …

01 – Foyle Young Poets

This 20th birthday celebration is not only about looking back. We launch the festival with a celebration of young poets of the future. A showcase of winners and former winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, featuring Jonathan Stone, Jasmine Simms, Charlotte Higgins and Ledbury’s Young Poet in Residence Flora de Falbe. Read More …

02 – Hwaet! 20 Years of Ledbury Poetry Festival!

Community Hall Anniversary Anthology Showcase Hear a selection of poems from poets who have read at Ledbury since the Festival started, all of whom feature in Hwaet!, a Festival anthology of over 190 poets from all over the world. Celebrating 20 years of Ledbury, this event is hosted by Mark Fisher. The evening features a Read More …

04 – We Are All from Somewhere Else

Burgage Hall We Are All from Somewhere Else: Writing Between World and Identity. Ruth Padel and Daljit Nagra both write on an edge between myth and experience; between different cultures and geographies. Daljit’s debut collection Look we are coming to Dover gave voice to new cultural identities formed by immigration, while his recent Ramayana found Read More …

05 – Fleur Adcock and Hannah Lowe

Burgage Hall Much-loved poet Fleur Adcock makes a welcome return to Ledbury. Her poems are remarkable for their wry wit, conversational tone and psychological insight, unmasking the deceptions of love or unravelling family lives. She read from her latest collection The Land Ballot. Her migrant grandparents acquired a plot of bush in New Zealand’s North Read More …

07a – Versopolis Part 1

Burgage Hall Versopolis is a platform that unites 13 European Festivals to promote and translate their most exciting new poets. André Rudolph (Germany), Goran Colakhodžic (Croatia), Monica Aasprong (Norway), Samantha Barendson (France) and Judith Nika Pfeifer (Austria) share the stage with four of the UK poets: Jonathan Edwards, Kim Moore, Daljit Nagra and Karen McCarthy Read More …

07b – Versopolis Part 2

Burgage Hall Versopolis is a platform that unites 13 European Festivals to promote and translate their most exciting new poets. André Rudolph (Germany), Goran Colakhodžic (Croatia), Monica Aasprong (Norway), Samantha Barendson (France) and Judith Nika Pfeifer (Austria) share the stage with four of the UK poets: Jonathan Edwards, Kim Moore, Daljit Nagra and Karen McCarthy Read More …

08 – Peter Tatchell’s Desert Island Poems

Community Hall Peter Tatchell has campaigned since 1967 on issues of human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice. In 1994, he named 10 Anglican bishops and urged them to “Tell The Truth” about their sexuality; accusing them of homophobia and hypocrisy. In 1999, in London, he ambushed the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, attempting a Read More …

10 – “Yippee!” Laughter and Melancholy in the Poetry of Frank O’Hara

Burgage Hall Frank O’Hara, a poet whom Mark Doty described as “Urbane, ironic, sometimes genuinely celebratory and often wildly funny”, was simultaneously a subtle elegist. Daniel Kane’s talk will explore and identify how some of O’Hara’s best-loved and fun poems in his book Lunch Poems served as requiems for lost or unfinished art, music, and Read More …

11 – James Fenton

Burgage Hall James Fenton travels from New York to Ledbury to give a rare performance. This is an opportunity to hear “a modern master” according to Ian McEwan who says, “There is a strong case to be made that James Fenton is the finest poet writing in English. His technical virtuosity is beyond doubt; his Read More …

14 – Jacob Polley and Aonghas MacNeacail

Burgage Hall Aonghas MacNeacail is one of the best Gaelic poets writing today. He was born in Uig, on the Isle of Skye and writes in Gaelic, Scots and English. He won the prestigious Scottish Writer of the Year Stakis Prize with his third collection, Oideachadh Ceart /A Proper Schooling and his most recent collection Read More …

17 – Mark Waldron and Matthew Caley

Burgage Hall Mark Waldron is a brilliant and highly engaging reader of his work. He began writing poetry in his early 40s, has published The Brand New Dark and The Itchy Sea, and his third collection, Meanwhile, Trees, is due from Bloodaxe in May. “His work captures exactly the uncertain mix of what it is Read More …

18 – Desert Island Poems with Dame Eileen Atkins

Community Hall Dame Eileen Atkins was born in a Salvation Army Women’s Hostel in north London. Her father was a gas meter reader; her mother, a seamstress and barmaid. A drama teacher taught her how to drop her Cockney accent, and she studied Shakespeare and Greek tragedies. Her breakthrough role in The Killing of Sister Read More …

19 – Desire in Poetry

Burgage Hall Mark Doty’s many honours include the T. S. Eliot Prize. His poetry has long been celebrated for its risk and candour, an ability to find transcendent beauty even in the mundane and grievous. His latest collection Deep Lane is a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata Read More …

20 – South Africa Spotlight

Burgage Hall Toni Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator. Most recently she collaborated with the flamenco company dotdotdot dance as part of the Sadler’s Wells Wild Card Nights. She will be reading work from Krotoa-Eva’s Suite – a collection she is currently working on, which tells the largely unknown story Read More …

25 – Festival Open Mic Featuring Amy Key

Burgage Hall Amy Key’s debut collection Luxe “is a magnificent spree in a bric-a-brac shop. A haul of pre-loved and glittering objets – pralines in a crystal bowl, a handful of tame ladybirds, a portrait in vinyl and cola-cubes – are artfully displayed on the poems’ shelves to represent the conflicts and connections of a Read More …

26 – Eleanor Farjeon: Something I Remember

Baptist Church Something I Remember is the title of one of Eleanor Farjeon’s best-loved poems. Anne Harvey’s talk reveals the skill and surprising diversity of the writer who wrote poetry, plays and novels for adults and children and a moving memoir of her close friendship with Edward Thomas. She won three major awards: the Carnegie Read More …

32 – Strange Landscapes: Jim Dening and Christopher North

Burgage Hall. Christopher North and Jim Dening explore people, landscapes and ideas in reading from their recent work. Chris’s poems report surprising, sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, events and encounters. Jim looks for meanings, echoes and ghosts in his narratives. Both poets love the force of words and the power of poetry to open new windows Read More …

36 – Ted Hughes – The Unauthorised Life

Burgage Hall Sir Jonathan Bate tells the inside story of the not undramatic process of writing a biography of Ted Hughes. Well known as a biographer, critic, broadcaster and scholar, he is Provost of Worcester College and Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. He has wide-ranging research interests in Shakespeare and Renaissance Read More …

38 – An Evening With Mike Harding

Community Hall Mike Harding is a poet, singer, songwriter, comedian, author, broadcaster and multiinstrumentalist. For fifteen years he presented a popular Folk, Roots and Acoustic Music programme on BBC Radio 2. His autobiography The Adventures of the Crumpsall Kid tells hilarious tales from his first day at infant school to playing in skiffle groups and Read More …

39 – Peter Sutton on Piers Plowman

Burgage Hall Piers Plowman is a disturbing and humorous commentary on corruption and greed that is still topical centuries later. Peter Sutton’s translation from the original Middle English preserves the energy, imagery and style of the original. Peter is both a brilliant academic and a superb actor. In the first part of the programme, he Read More …

47 – National Poetry Competition Winners

Burgage Hall The Poetry Society presents a celebratory reading from a selection of winners of the 2015 National Poetry Competition. The competition is the UK’s most prestigious award for a single poem, receiving over 12,000 entries. The judges Sarah Howe, Esther Morgan and David Wheatley chose from an unusually eclectic and exciting range of poems. Read More …

48 – Edmund de Waal Desert Island Poems

Community Hall Edmund de Waal is an artist and writer. He is best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels which are informed by his passion for architecture, space and sound. His family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes won many literary prizes and has been translated into over 30 languages. Other works Read More …

49 – Poetry East – Arundhathi Subramaniam

Burgage Hall Maitreyabandhu in conversation with Arundhathi Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning poet and writer on spirituality and culture. She mostly lives in Mumbai (a city she is perennially on the verge of leaving). She has published two books of poetry in Britain, Where I Live: New & Selected Poems and When God Is a Read More …

50 – Book Launch: Heath by Penelope Shuttle and John Greening

Burgage Hall Heathrow Airport landed, in the early 1940s, as if from outer space, on the ancient common land of Hounslow Heath. In Heath John Greening and Penelope Shuttle transcribe and review the conflicts of modern life, of finding an equilibrium between the excitements of travel and the benefits of trade, and the continuing desecration Read More …

52 – Poetry East: Maitreyabandhu in conversation with Medbh McGuckian

Burgage Hall McGuckian’s first major collection, The Flower Master, which explores post-natal breakdown, was awarded a Rooney prize for Irish Literature, and other awards. Since then she has published seven further collections. She was awarded the 2002 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem) for her poem She is in the Past, She Has This Grace. Read More …

54 – Old Rhymes for New – Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation

Burgage Hall Shakespeare’s poems in original pronunciation. In 96 of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets there are couplets that don’t rhyme in modern English. In the major poems, similarly, there are many lines that should rhyme, but don’t, to modern ears. David Crystal explains the way sounds have changed since the 16th century, and describes the evolution Read More …

Poetica Botanica: Making Words from Healing Herbs

The Walled Garden With Adam Horovitz Herefordshire poet in residence Adam Horovitz was commissioned to write ‘February in the Physic Garden’ at Hellens, Much Marcle. This inspired the Poetica Botanica. Contributors read their poems at this delightful event in the Walled Garden in the heart of Ledbury with the sounds of the town in the Read More …