Southwell Library Poetry Festival is back for its 9th year. This year is particularly exciting, as it's our first poetry festival as part of Inspire, the new community benefit society delivering culture, learning and library services on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council.

The festival runs from Thursday 14th – 17th July and this year promises to be as eclectic as ever, with a ride range of events. We have three nationally-acclaimed poets. On Friday 15th at 7.30pm we welcome Lemn Sissay MBE, author of several books of poetry, he was official poet for the London Olympics and his Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London. He is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and the The Reader Organisation and inaugural trustee of World Book Night. Tickets £12/£10

Forward Prize winning poet Daljit Nagra joins us on the Saturday evening 7.30pm. He is currently Radio 4's Poet in Residence. Born in England of Sikh Punjabi parents much of Dagra's work explores the complexities of his dual heritage, making use of vibrant language, surprising juxtapositions and broad humour. Tickets £10/£8. (Show your Inspire membership card and pay the concessionary price of £8)

Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm we have Afternoon Tea with Kate Fox, Kate Fox has been Poet in residence at Glastonbury and her gleeful, wickedly observed poetry will be a teatime treat of wit and warmth, followed by cake! Tickets £10/£8, includes afternoon tea.
We also celebrate the launch of this year's Roal Dahl themed children's Summer Reading Challenge: The Big Friendly Read, for children aged 4-11 come and enjoy Roald Dahl's poetry through fun themed activities.

We have several workshops and talks throughout the weekend including on Friday 15th 2pm Southwell's own Not Scary Poetry Group who invite you to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday with tea and cakes and enjoy an afternoon of poetry and reading reflecting significant moments during her lifetime. Tickets £4 including tea and cakes.

Mansfield born poet and playwright Kevin Fegan gives a workshop on Saturday 16th July, in this workshop he invites you to get on your feet and join him as he shares techniques and advice about how to present your work in public. The workshop includes the chance to take part in the Kevin Fegan &Co performance which will be later that day. Tickets are £8.
Sunday morning 11am join us for The Poetry Archive Request Show, The Poetry Archive is a national treasury of poets reading their own works. The archive features hundreds of poets voices, Sheelagh Gallagher will explore the Archive's virtual corridors, enjoying a range of classical and contemporary verses. £6 includes coffee and pastries.

The finale of the festival is on Sunday evening 7pm when we have a performance by Southwell Theatre Club of Behind Every Hero, written by local poet Paul Mein which takes the well-known stories of Jason, Theseus and Odysseus and gives a fresh perspective to the old myths. Tickets£6

Also in the programme are talks on Thomas Hardy, and Yorkshire Poets, An Afternoon with the Small press, writing surgeries plus lots more.

A full programme of events is available at Southwell Library or click here.