February: Festivals

What happens when we let different voices into our writing? What do they say, how do they say it, and what imaginative worlds do they open up? How do these voices stir up the dynamics of a piece of writing, or invigorate it?

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Our Festival Pass, costing £60 gives you access to all of our readings, discussions and open mic events taking place over the nine days of the festival (excludes workshops). 

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Festival Launch

19th February 2021

Everyone is welcome to the Festival Launch. Although this year we can’t provide the wine, feel free to bring your own! The festival will be officially opened by Michael McGregor, Director of the Wordsworth Trust, and will feature performances from our Young Poet in Residence Heather Hughes and our Young Musician in Residence Paddy Davies.

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Moniza Alvi’s eight collections include The Country at My Shoulder (OUP, 1993) shortlisted for the Whitbread and the T.S. Eliot poetry prizes and At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe, 2013) also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her latest collection is Blackbird, Bye Bye, a beautifully tender exploration of the world and our place in it. Roger Robinson will be reading from his fourth collection A Portable Paradise which won the T.S Eliot Prize.

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival for an early morning Writing Hour, to run every day the festival is live. You will be given a simple prompt and then we will all write together for one hour. No excuses, no interruptions!

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Join Ann and Peter – described by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage as  ‘the most astute and effective tutors in the UK’ – to read brilliant new poems and to write your own in this intensive and enjoyable workshop. 

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Join us to read and discuss The Celox and the Clot by Hafsah Aneela Bashir, along with other contemporary poets. Facilitated by Read Regional, this workshop is friendly, supportive and open to all.

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Hafsah Aneela Bashir is an award winning writer and performance poet who will be reading from her debut collection, The Celox and the Clot (Burning Eye Books, 2018) – described as ‘a startling, bold debut from a voice that needs to be heard in contemporary poetry’ (Helen Mort).

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Festivals

Kpf21 – An Afternoon With Jackie Hagan

20th February 2021

In “This is Not a Safe Space”, disabled poet, performer and theatre maker Jackie Hagan explores the world of life on disability benefits with her trademark warmth and wit. The show features the voices of people disabled by society. Full of spiky humour and pride, these are definitely not sob stories.

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Fiona Benson’s latest collection Vertigo and Ghost (Jonathan Cape, 2019) won the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the Roehampton Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Her latest work draws on Greek mythology to explore sexual violence, as well as exploring intimate domestic life.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Late Night Open Mic With Ann Grant

20th February 2021

Ann Grant returns for a second instalment of the Late Night Open Mic. Come and take part – or just listen – to a variety of voices in a high energy and fun event. Email annthepoet@gmail.com with ‘Kendal Poetry Festival’ in the title.

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Join the one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

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The blank page is a field of possibilities. But, let’s face it, it’s intimidating.

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Join us for a celebration reading from this wonderful anthology.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Afternoon Tea With Brewery Poets

21st February 2021

Kendal’s Brewery Poets have been meeting for over thirty years and are the driving force behind the Kendal Poetry Festival.

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Vahni Capildeo’s seven books and five pamphlets extend from prose poetry into immersive theatre. 

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

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Manchester-based poet, playwright and performer, Hafsah Aneela Bashir, is the founder of the Poetry Health Service (PHS) – a free online creative service, established in July 2020, to offer contemporary poetry as a tool for connection and healing.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Not Dying With Jamie Hale

22nd February 2021

A solo show featuring poetry, monologue, spoken word, and comedy – explores what it means to face death, and to look at life instead.

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Abeer Ameer will be joining us from Cardiff to read from her eagerly awaited first collection Inhale/Exhile, published by Seren. 

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

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The art of listening to poetry – not just reading it or reading about it – helps writers make memorable work.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Sanatorium With Abi Palmer

23rd February 2021

Join Abi Palmer for a live performance of Sanatorium, scored with haunting, dreamlike film. 

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Andrew McMillan and his special guest Michael Symmons Roberts will discuss RANSOM, Michael’s eighth collection of poetry.

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

Book now

Join Ann and Peter – described by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage as ‘the most astute and effective tutors in the UK’ – to read brilliant new poems and to write your own in this intensive and enjoyable workshop.

Read more
Festivals

Kpf21 – 100 Poems To Save The Planet

24th February 2021

Join editors Zoë Brigley Thompson and Kristian Evans for a celebratory reading from this life-affirming anthology, due to be published in Spring 2021.

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Romalyn Ante has blogged about the parallels between the art of writing poetry and being a nurse – how both of these activities ask that the practitioner really listens and pays attention. 

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

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A match. A musty flask. A mosquito. Poetry is an art uniquely suited to honour all that is small, easily forgotten, taken for granted or deemed insignificant.

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Jonathan Davidson’s newly published collection, A Commonplace (Smith|Doorstop 2020), is unusual in containing not only his own work but also ‘guest poems’ by nearly a dozen other poets, including Mick North, Catherine Byron and Jackie Kay.

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Hannah Hodgson is one of Cumbria’s rising stars and our top tip for a poet to keep an eye on!  She will be reading from her brand-new pamphlet Where I’d Watch Plastic Trees Not Grow, published by Verve Press. Andrew McMillan is one of our best-loved contemporary poets and a firm favourite here in Cumbria.

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour. You will be given a simple prompt and then we will all write together for one hour. No excuses, no interruptions!

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Join us for a writing workshop with the wonderful poet Carolyn Forche.

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How can we as organisations and individuals respond to the challenge of producing live literature events under the shadow of a public health pandemic? This will be a round table discussion to share best practice, ideas and creativity on how we can all utilize digital platforms to widen accessibility, connect communities and push the boundaries of poetry, performance and creativity.

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Ian Humphrey’s first full-length collection Zebra (Nine Arches, 2019) takes in 1980’s gay culture and his multi-racial heritage. His poetry is playful, risk-taking and exuberant, moving between city and country, between grief and love. Alison Brackenbury is a regular attendee of Kendal Poetry Festival and joins us to read from her Selected Poems Gallop (Carcanet, 2019).

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

Book now

In the past year, it’s really been brought home to us how notional our sense of our own control over our lives can feel. For many, it’s also been a hard time to imagine the future – this workshop is my prescription!

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The Poetry Business New Poets Pamphlets Competition is one of the most prestigious and exciting competition for young poets. Come and celebrate with three of 2020’s winners! Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith will read from Ugly Bird.

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Mary Jean Chan’s first full-length collection Flèche (Faber and Faber 2019) was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards for Poetry. Chan’s work explores themes of multilingualism, queerness, psychoanalysis and the complexities of maternal relationships. Karen Solie’s fifth collection of poetry, The Caiplie Caves (Picador, 2019) was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Late Night Open Mic With Ann Grant

27th February 2021

Ann Grant returns with the Late Night Open Mic – a festival favourite.

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Join one of the directors of Kendal Poetry Festival every morning for an early morning Writing Hour.

Book now

During this workshop we will look at how we might use ballet and contemporary dance to inspire new and arresting poems.

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Festivals

Kpf21 – Ludokinetic Poetry With Jon Stone

28th February 2021

Jon Stone discusses and performs ludokinetic poems – poems that involve the reader through mechanisms of play.

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The Staying Alive series of Bloodaxe anthologies –  Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Being Human (2011) and Staying Human (2020) – have been a huge presence in the British poetry scene for almost two decades.

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Vicki Feaver will be reading from her much anticipated fourth collection I Want! I Want! (Jonathan Cape, 2020). 

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Cumbria
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