Community Programme

The Festival is very fortunate to secure funding from Arts Council England New Lottery Project Grants to support our community programme 2021 – 2022.

Ledbury Poetry Festival runs a year round community programme which provides cultural enrichment to the most vulnerable groups in our society. The community programme not only develops literacy and communication skills, but also provides a lifeline for isolated people – whether through age, disability, poverty, mental or physical illness. Through the community programme  we aim to reach those who would not ordinarily attend or have the opportunity to attend an arts-related activity, so that they may enjoy the benefits to their health, well being and life skills that poetry and creativity give.

The benefits derived from the programme from the participants are many. Working creatively is therapeutic – enhancing the mental wellbeing for the participants. For isolated people e.g. some elderly people we work with – the activity can be a social life line. What ever the benefit, organisations poets have gone into are always keen to have them back. If your organisation is interested in working with a poet please contact

The Festival also includes as part of its programme free events and puts poets onto the streets. This allows the whole community to enjoy poetry and creates a wonderful atmosphere in the town.  A strand of children’s events are often free or minimally priced to encourage families to attend and give children access to fun events.

Community Poetry Workshops Open to the Public. These groups are currently running online on zoom. See poster (right) for dates.

For further details, contact or phone 01531 634156

Segments: Join poet Sara-Jane Arbury’s fun, friendly and informal poetry sessions using artefacts from Ledbury’s Butcher Row folk museum as inspirations for poetry, memories and discussion. Currently meeting online. No prior experience necessary – just join in. See poster for next dates. Transcripts of previous sessions, which contain all the resources and inspiration to create your own poetry, can be found here

Poetry and Pictures workshops partnered with Herefordshire Mind, Currently meeting online. Using pictures as a springboard for discussion and expressive poetry. Poetry is powerful, it shows us the world in new ways; it heals, teaches and celebrates. Please see poster for next session dates. Transcripts of previous sessions, containing valuable resources and inspiration, can be found here

We are thrilled to announce we will be offering workshops with the following amazing poets, l – r Maryam Hessavi, Casey Bailey, Dzifa Benson and Vanessa Kisuule.


Maryam Hessavi 18 June, 7pm – 9pm Poetry Workshop on the Ghazal form
Casey Bailey 29 July
Dzifa Benson 7 Sept, 7pm – 9pm  Introduction to Poetry Reviewing
Vanessa Kisuule Thursday 25 Nov  and Thursday 20 Jan 2022 times and topics tbc.

Entry details for workshops will be released on social media before the events.

Ledbury Poetry is also running closed groups in partnership with

  • Herefordshire Young Carers Support
  • community care settings such as residential nursing homes for large scale community arts project “Wrap the Town in Poetry” (postponed until 2022)
  • Herefordshire and Gloucestershire NHS Pain Management Clinics
  • Citizen Sheltered Housing (formerly SHYPP) and Close House

If you feel your group or organisation would benefit from working professionally with a poet for increased creativity, expression, health and well being, please do get in touch with

“These workshops were made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England” 

Have a look at these wonderful images from Ledbury Poetry’s Community Programme sessions, events and artwork!

“Being Heard” and Jericho Brown/ Marie Howe images credit @Paul Ligas