Ten things not to miss as Nottingham Poetry Festival returns to the city

The festival is returning to venues across the city following a two-year break in in-person performances.

Nottingham is hosting two weeks of wordsmiths, workshops, writing and wellbeing as the city’s poetry festival returns following a two-year absence.

Launching on Friday 6 May, Nottingham Poetry Festival again celebrates local literary talent as well as a host of national and internationally-acclaimed artists.

And away from the headline acts, festival director Anne Holloway has come up with her ten things not to miss, otherwise known as ‘Poetry But Not as We Know It’.

Friday May 6 and on demand

Joe Drinks Wine and Gives Themselves a Haircut is a person, stuck in their tiny bathroom, drinking wine and giving themselves a haircut in one unbroken shot for just over 30 minutes. However, we can hear their thoughts while this happens, and the poetry inside their head rolls between the topics of modern life, pollution, the internet, childhood, and anything and everything in between. Available on demand.

Saturday May 7

Poetry Takeaway will be at Sneinton Market serving up personalised, quality poetry to visitors, performed and wrapped to takeaway. So go and place an order with one of the talented ‘poet chefs’ and see what you are served! 11am – 3pm.

Augmented Reality Poetry App launch. The PoGo App has been led by City Arts working with European organisations to promote poetry to young people across Europe. Six young Notts poets feature on the app and are joined by six poets from each of the partner countries: Denmark, Romania, Turkey, Germany and Poland. The launch night at City Arts will feature the local poets performing live with a special guest appearance from festival founder Henry Normal – City Arts Patron and champion of young poets in Nottingham.

Sunday May 8

Tangled Yarns will be spinning tall tales in poetic form. Headlined by Mark Gwynne Jones, an internationally renowned poet and musician, this is going to be an extraordinary adventure leaving the map behind and weaving weird and wonderful yarns into fine fabric, waiting to be unravelled. The Canalhouse 7.30-10pm.

Digital and Mathematical Poetry. Poetry is an art, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be scientific. Can a poet explain the essence of a mathematical concept to a reader? What happens if you apply mathematical principles to a poem’s structure? Hear from two poets at Five Leaves Bookshop, 4.30 – 6pm.

Wellbeing Workshop at Woodthorpe Park. This writing workshop focuses on capturing the comfort we experience from positive memories transforming a moment in time into a piece of writing that can take you right back, ready to be revisited whenever you read the piece. Hustle Holt, Woodthorpe Park 12pm – 1pm.

Writing with the Alphabet. This is a playful workshop on how to use letters not just as literature but as art. Taking place over zoom 5.30 – 6.30pm.

Monday May 9

Write At The Front at 31K, Hockley. Ever wanted to hear your poems set to music? Poets take to the stage, give a word, an emotion, or sentence to describe the piece. The musicians interpret and present a sonic backdrop to the performance. It’s like an open mic with a house band, but poetic. No need to book, just show up.7pm-9pm

Wednesday May 11

SMUT! The Verbal Burlesque. A new night of poetry and storytelling in Nottingham celebrating human sexuality. A verbal burlesque that can feature anything from a deeply moving love letter, to an erotic limerick. Whether it’s heartfelt, cheeky or downright indecent, we’d love to see you at this open mic night at The Playwright. Over 18s only. 7.30-9.30pm

Saturday May 14

Van Gogh Kid Yourself and Van Gogh Find Yourself. An award winning show for families featuring interactive drawing and story workshops at The Sillitoe Room Waterstones,11am – 12pm and 2pm – 3pm.

While lots of the events are free, please check the website for details for each event, and to book tickets where necessary.

The festival has been awarded National Lottery Project Funding by Arts Council England and is supported by Confetti Media Group and Castle Rock.

For the full line up and to book tickets, go to https://nottinghampoetryfestival.com/whatson/

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