Poets Helen Mort and Elaine Feinstein are among the special guests at this year's Southwell Library Poetry Festival.

The event, organised by Nottinghamshire County Council, will be held from Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th July with readings, workshops, performances and children's events as part of the packed programme.

One children's activity called The Poetry Tree will see youngsters invited to hear their favourite poems read out loud and then decorate the library's famous Bramley Apple Tree with their homemade poetry bunting.

And for the first time, festival visitors will be able to enjoy a 'Poetry Slam' during the festivities, which promises to be a real draw. It is competitive poetry performed in front of an audience over a series of rounds.

Councillor John Knight, Chairman of the Culture Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: "Southwell Library Poetry Festival is one of the key events in Nottinghamshire's cultural calendar, and returns to Southwell for its seventh consecutive year."

In terms of key events, on the Friday evening (18th July) Elaine Feinstein, is in conversation with festival favourite, Ross Bradshaw, discussing her life and work.

Elaine Feinstein has published 34 novels and poetry collections as well as numerous biographies, radio plays and television dramas. She has travelled all over the world reading at festivals, researching for her biographies and as Writer in Residence for The British Council in Singapore and Norway. Her recent autobiography, Memoirs of a Poet, is a fascinating account of a long and fulfilling career.

Saturday sees workshops running throughout the day and as this year marks the centenary of the start of World War One, there is a particular emphasis on different aspects of war poetry. Also during the day, there is a chance to have a consultation with The Poetry Doctor and children will have the opportunity to hear their favourite poems and make poetry bunting.

And on Sunday 20th July, Derbyshire's Poet in Residence and Costa and TS Eliot Nominated poet Helen Mort will be at the festival reading and discussing some of her work.

Carol Ann Duffy has famously said that Helen 'is among the brightest stars in the sparkling new constellation of young British poets,' and as such is the five time winner and now judge of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award. Her poetry is rooted in Northern England and reflects the clear, honest and uncomplicated landscape of the country.

Nottinghamshire County Council is once again grateful to all the work and support of its festival supporters, particularly local community groups and businesses, including the Bookcase in Lowdham, volunteers, friends and staff of Nottinghamshire Libraries.

For more details about this year's festival, visit: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/southwellpoetryfestival