Saturday 10 July

Saturday 10 July 2021

Online events will be available for ticket holders to access for two weeks after they finish.

Spellwright, Market House, 10am – 4pm, Free

What would make your life better? Take home a Spell written just for you by fabled bard Jean Atkin, and supplied on aged paper in a fine italic hand. You get to press the seal into the red sealing wax yourself. Spells undertaken for brand new babies, for a sister abroad, for invisibility, for making an Owl speak or whatever required.

Poetry Machine, Market House, 10am – 4pm, Free

Beth Calverley will fire up her marvellous poetry machine and craft beautiful, intuitive poems on her vintage typewriter. Beth hosts a warm, welcoming conversation with each person, couple or family… within minutes you receive the original typewritten poem to take home with you and remind you of this magical experience.

Rosalind Hudis and Isabel Galleymore

11am – 12 noon, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), £5, Tickets here

Restorations, by Rosalind Hudis, takes the reader on a journey into what it means to preserve – a monument, a moment, a life-story, a poppy. It’s about the hunger to possess and the need to let go. ‘If a poem is like a picture, these are history paintings, rich in human detail and many-layered in their brushwork’ (Matthew Francis)

Isabel Galleymore’s first collection, Significant Other, won the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize and Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize. Her pamphlet, Cyanic Pollens, is based on her residency in the Peruvian Amazon. She lectures at the University of Birmingham.

Poetry Society Annual Showcase with Susannah Hart, Cheryl Moskowitz and Isabelle Baafi, hosted by Jonathan Edwards

3pm – 4pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), Free, Tickets here

The Poetry Society runs some of the most influential competitions and awards in the UK. Come and hear from National Poetry Competition winners, Susannah Hart and Cheryl Moskowitz, and Foyle Young Poet Isabelle Baafi, read and chat with one of the judges, Jonathan Edwards. Find out what makes a winning poem, hear each poet talk about their writing lives and getting published and discover exciting new poetic talents.

Susannah Hart’s poems have been widely published in magazines and online, including Smiths Knoll, Magma, The North, The Rialto and Poetry London. Her debut collection Out of True won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018

Isabelle Baafi is a writer and poet from London. Her debut pamphlet, Ripe, was the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2021. Her poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Magma, Anthropocene, and elsewhere. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic.

Cheryl Moskowitz is trained in dramatherapy and psychodynamic counselling began her career with the radical 1980s poetry collective Angels of Fire. She has won prizes in the Bridport and Troubadour competitions and was commended in the 2019 National Poetry Competition. Maternal Impression was shortlisted for this year’s Saboteur awards.

Beth Calverley and Jean Atkin

5pm – 6pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), £5, Tickets here

Beth Calverley’s debut, Brave Faces & Other Smiles, takes the umbrella theme of the smile and shares it out – with great generosity and care – among a multiplicity of subjects, moods and meanings. Smiles can be brave, shy, sad, or a lighthouse beam of joy. Some of the smiles that inspired this collection were contributed by people whom Beth has met on her adventures with The Poetry Machine.

Jean Atkin’s new pamphlet Fan-Peckled, features 12 poems inspired by 12 lost words that were gathered into The Shropshire Word-Book by Georgina F. Jackson in 1879. Listeners will encounter poems with freckles and red kites, as well as flooding, an abused work horse and a labourer needing to transfer skills in a time of changing economics. ‘It is a collection of acute, tender observations’ (Margaret Adkins).

Julia Copus on Charlotte Mew – This event is now online and will combine and talk about Charlotte Mew and a reading from Julia Copus’s new collection Girlhood

6.30pm – 7.30pm, now on Zoom, £5, Tickets here

For Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Mew (1869- 1928) was the finest woman poet of the era. Drawing on a wealth of previously unseen materials – including letters, photographs, household and medical records, diaries and the testimonies of friends – award­ winning poet Julia Copus animates the myriad factors that went into firing Mew’s extraordinary imagination, and in so doing confirms the relevance and power that her work has today.

Julia Copus will also read from her phenomenal new collection, Girlhood, her first in seven years. There are autobiographical pieces, poems of history and imagination and, in The Great Unburned, there are witches overhead. ‘Her technical dexterity and way of seeing the past afresh reap rich dividends’ (The Guardian).

Ledbury Poetry Slam!

8pm – 10pm (including an interval), Zoom, £5, Tickets here

Join heavenly hosts Elvis McGonagall and Sara-Jane Arbury for an energetic evening of good verbal virtual vibrations as worldly wordsmiths take the page onto the online stage to compete for points that lead to prizes! In this popular contest, brave bards will share their own poems in their own homes in a bid to reach the hearts and hearing parts of the public. Selected judges award the points, so who will Zoom into the final and become Ledbury’s Slam Star? Expect fine online lines, a dash of digital dexterity, and chic shots of living rooms! To enter the Slam as a competitor, please contact Sara-Jane on 07814 830031 or email

PLEASE NOTE: This event may contain adult language and subject matter.

Poetry Party with Herefordshire Stanza

8pm – 9pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard, FREE

A relaxed and friendly gathering, with plenty of opportunities to mingle and chat. Plus poetic interludes offer a chance to hear poems by the Herefordshire Stanza, and to contribute your own poem, or a poem you love. Please bring your own drinks to enjoy in this lovely setting.

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