Organisers of Nottingham Poetry Festival have announced the event’s 2019 dates and appointed a new creative director.
Running from April 26 – May 5 2019, the annual festival will present an eclectic line-up of acclaimed national and local poets and performers for the fourth time.
Nottingham’s first Young Poet Laureate, Georgina Wilding, founder of publisher Mud Press, is also announced as the festival’s new Creative Director.
She will lead the event through ten days of word jams, poetry slams, performances, songs and readings from some of the most renowned poets in the country.
Georgina will work with the festival’s founders, writer Henry Normal and Confetti Media Group chief executive Craig Chettle, alongside festival co-ordinator and promoter Tommy Rosley.
The 2019 line-up already features a dazzling array of talent – national names Ian McMillan, Caroline Bird, Andrew McMillan, Lorraine Mariner, Patience Agbabi, John Hegley, Roger McGough, Paul Cookson, Val Bloom, together with many local poets including Christopher Lanyon, Akor Apaluwah, Jamie Thrasivoulou, Leanne Moden, Stephen Thomas and Jai Verma.
The full line-up will be revealed on the Poetry Festival website over the coming weeks.
Founder Henry Normal said: “Thanks to the people of Nottingham we have together built a Poetry Festival worthy of a UNESCO City of Literature. It’s now back for a fourth year, bigger, better, broader and more beautiful than before.
“With Georgina as our new Creative Director I’m sure the whole city will be engaged in what proves to be an exciting ten days”.
Georgina said: “It is an absolute honour to be invited to take on this role. I’ve been lucky enough to see the brilliance of the festival grow and grow over the last few years, and I’m excited to see what I will be able to bring into the mix.”
Sandeep Mahal, Director Nottingham City of Literature, added: “We are delighted that Georgina Wilding has been appointed Creative Director of Nottingham Poetry Festival. She is a fantastic talent, a brilliant advocate for poetry and an excellent ambassador for Nottingham as a UNESCO Creative City of Literature.
“Georgina embraced her tenure as Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate with such grace and acuity. She has exceeded our wildest expectations reaching a vast range of audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
“She has produced commissioned work of the highest quality, and performed alongside such established poets as Roger McGough, Henry Normal, and the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. She has become – deservedly so – the face of Nottingham’s young and vibrant poetry scene. As her laureateship comes to an end, we look forward to seeing the Poetry Festival flourish under her leadership.”
Events will take place across the city and county and for the first time, and Nottingham’s new cross arts media venue Metronome will feature as the festival’s official hub.
Mr Chettle added: “In partnership with our parent company NTU, we are really excited to play host to some of the key events during the Nottingham Poetry Festival this year.
“I believe it is a perfect venue to act as the hub for this year’s festival, and I’m obviously delighted to see how Metronome has already become an essential part of the cultural fabric of the city.”
In addition, the festival is supported creatively by its partners – Nottingham Trent’s University’s Curated & Created programme, Confetti Media Group, UNESCO City of Literature, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Libraries, Mud Press, Big White Shed, Left Lion, Waterstones and Five Leaves.
Sponsors for the festival are again Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Castle Rock Brewery.
For the first time the festival has been awarded National Lottery Funding by Arts Council England (ACE). The ACE award will help the festival expand its delivery and reach.