Nottingham Poetry Festival will return for its sixth outing in 2021 with a mixture of live and online events.
Organisers announced it will be held from November 12 to 21 and will return with a new creative director.
Nottingham-based poet and performer Anne Holloway is taking up the post from outgoing director Georgina Wilding, whose term in the role has drawn to a close.
Holloway is founding editor at Big White Shed publishing. An experienced performer and practitioner, her first poetry collection, There Are No Photographs, was published in 2018.
In 2020, the festival adapted its plans in line with coronavirus restrictions and moved online, making every event free to watch.
“I am thrilled to be taking up this opportunity. I can’t wait to get involved with planning for the next festival and share my passion for the power of poetry with as many people as possible,” said Holloway.
“I found ‘my tribe’ in the creative community here, and the Nottingham Poetry Festival is part of that support network, as a space where new and emerging poets can share the stage with more established artists and develop their careers in whatever direction they choose.
“But without our readers and our audiences, we poets would be pretty lonely, so as well as working hard to support everyone within the poetry community to get involved, I’ll be working equally hard to reach new audiences. I believe we are all poets, at heart.”
Festival founders Henry Normal and Craig Chettle MBE added: “We are delighted to have Anne as Creative Director of our great team and we look forward to seeing how the festival evolves under her guidance. She’ll join Bridie Squires, Manjit Sahota, Tommy Rosley and all those unsung heroes who get involved in helping to bring the Nottingham Poetry Festival together.
“Anne’s extensive insight into the local poetry scene, her drive, energy and commitment should be key to the success of the 6th NPF in November.
“Our special thanks go to Georgina, who has helped deliver two successful iterations of the festival, most recently in 2020 in the most challenging of circumstances.
“Despite the pandemic, audiences were treated to live streams and online performances from Lemn Sissay, Vanessa Kisuule, Anthony Anaxagorou and Panya Banjoko, and workshops with Sean Hewitt, Ruth Padel and Dr Jack McGowan, amongst others. We know Georgina is especially proud of the education work developed under her leadership.”
Georgina Wilding said: “I am so excited to see that Anne will be taking on the festival, and I can’t wait to see what she adds to the mix. Anne has a long-standing legacy in Nottingham and has helped so many of the poets performing today to become the writers that they are, this is so well deserved and I know she’ll bring her magic to this next term of the festival. Roll on November eh? See you there everyone.”
The festival will again be supported by Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. Project Director Sandeep Mahal said: “I am absolutely delighted that Anne will spearhead Nottingham Poetry Festival. Anne’s vision, talent and energy will be a huge asset for the festival.
“At Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, we’re thrilled to work with partners like the poetry festival, who share our mission of building a better world with words. I am sure that Anne will build on the impressive work that Georgina Wilding and her team have done over the past two years.”
The festival has also sealed a new partnership with Nottingham venue Metronome and the New Poetry Society, broadcasting a series of free online poetry events, fronted by Henry Normal.
The annual event was launched in April 2015 by Nottingham-born poet, TV & Film Producer Henry Normal and Craig Chettle MBE, Founder and Chief Executive of the Confetti Media Group.
Now an integral part of Nottingham’s cultural offer, the event attracts audiences from all over the country.
Pervious festival line-ups have included Lemn Sissay MBE, Carol Ann Duffy, Luke Wright, John Cooper Clarke, John Hegley & Roger McGough together with local poets Tony Kirk, Georgina Wilding, Panya Banjoko & Gregory Woods.