Augmented reality poems, new venues and even specially-made beer mats are being prepared for the fourth annual Nottingham Poetry Festival.
The spoken word event runs from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, May 5 at locations across the city and often surprises visitors with a mix of topical, humorous and thought-provoking acts.
Here’s a list of some of the things you can expect from this year’s festival, and you can watch highlights of last year’s event on demand.
Nottingham Poetry Festival 2019: Selected events
For a full run-down of what’s on, visit the festival website.
Friday, April 26
Big White Shed: Work In Progress: first steps, final steps
Sneak a peek at the first stages of ‘Casino’ by Bridie Squires, then sit back and enjoy the almost-ready-to-roll ‘Genre Fluid’ by Dan Webber.
Debbie Bryan, 18 St Marys Gate, Nottingham NG1 1PF, 6pm – 8pm, £5
NPF presents: Ian McMillan, Jim Otieno-Hall and Anne Holloway
Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan hosts weekly hit radio show The Verb. He’s Poet-in-Residence for Barnsley FC, The Academy of Urbanism and, until recently, English National Opera. He’s a regular on BBC Breakfast, Pointless Celebrities, Coast, Countryfile, Pick
of the Week, Last Word, The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes (C4).
He was featured on The South Bank Show, and cast away on Desert Island Discs. His
rip-roaring poetry shows are legendary. Cats make him sneeze. Support comes from local poets, publishers, enablers and all round good eggs, Anne Holloway and Jim Hall.
Metronome, Huntingdon Street, Nottingham NG1 1AP, 7.30pm – 10pm, £9
Saturday, April 27
Chapter and Verse
Chapter and Verse present two of Nottingham’s finest poets, Ash Dickinson and Ravelle Sadé, plus an open mic….and a surprise!
Lord Roberts, 24 Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AN, 4.30pm – 7pm, Pay what you feel
Sunday, April 28
NPF presents: Caroline Bird, Georgina Wilding and Ioney Smallhorne
Caroline Bird is a poet and playwright, and has five collections of poetry published by Carcanet. Her most recent collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S Eliot Prize and Ted Hughes Award. The multi-award winner was also one of only five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics.
Metronome, Huntingdon Street, Nottingham NG1 1AP, 7pm – 10pm, £9
Monday, April 29
A Write Royal Performance
Special guest Henry Normal, poet, BAFTA winning screenwriter, TV and film producer and festival founder, joins The Royal Writers – members of the 55+ writing groups at Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall – in this poetic extravaganza. Also featuring Cathy Grindrod, widely published poet and former Derbyshire Poet Laureate
Royal Concert Hall, Level 4 Bar, Theatre Square, NG1 1DP, 7.30pm-9.30pm, £7.50
Tuesday, April 30
“Poetic Justice” featuring Nafeesa Hamid and Arch Femmesis
Live from the iconic National Justice Museum courtroom, an eclectic evening of spoken word featuring acclaimed poet Nafeesa Hamid, electro-pop duo Arch Femmesis + a Robin Hood vs Maid Marian Poetry Slam!
National Justice Museum, High Pavement, NG1 1HN, 7pm-9.45pm, £7/£5
Wednesday, May 1
NPF Presents: Andrew McMillan, Milla Tebbs & Joshua Judson
Andrew McMillan’s debut collection physical was the first poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. His second collection, playtime, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2018; it was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2018, a Telegraph Poetry Book of the Month and a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. He is senior lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at MMU and lives in Manchester. Supported by the formidably talented, Milla Tebbs and Joshua Judson.
Metronome, Huntingdon Street, NG1 1AP, 7pm-10pm, £9
Thursday, May 2
Maresa MacKeith: I Can Still See The Sky
“Maresa MacKeith is a force of nature. Her work is seeds grown into a field of sunflowers captured in a time-lapse.” Tshaka Campbell.
Come and hear readings and celebrate the launch of her greatly anticipated poetry collection, I Can Still See The Sky. Presented by Big White Shed.
Waterstones, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, NG1 2GR, 6pm-7.30pm, Free
Friday, May 3
John Hegley: Peace, Love & Potatoes
Songs, drawings, poems and baroque dance steps, encompassing furniture, fig rolls, fisher-birds and a trip to Rotherham Library from the legendary John Hegley.
Theatre Royal – Third Stage, Theatre Square, NG1 5DP, 10.30pm-12am, £10
Saturday, May 4
Poetry As A Vehicle for Social Justice – Panel discussion and poetry reading with Three Palewell Press poets
Panel discussion and poetry reading with 3 Palewell Press Poets. Nottingham social worker Ruth Hobson reads from “Arthur Talks”, poems inspired by Homelessness. Sonia Jarema reading “Inside the Blue House”on Ukraine’s diaspora and Camilla Reeve sharing narrative poems from “Tales from Two Cities. The entry fee supports Palewell Press working with disadvantaged writers. We think £2 is too cheap, dig deep!
St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Gate, NG1 2NW, 2pm-4pm, £2
Sunday, May 5
LeftLion: Unheard Verse & Festival Closing Party
It’s bank holiday, it’s the end of the festival, let’s have a party. Midnight Shelley headlines a selection of Nottingham’s unheard poets. LeftLion’s Snap Notts poets gather to share their pieces based on local locations. Live music, poets and DJ’s entertain, until late.
Fox and Grapes, 21 Southwell Rd, NG1 1DL, 2pm-11pm, Free