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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Southwell Library Poetry Festival

Southwell Library Poetry Festival 2014 banner

The Southwell Library Poetry Festival is a regular event in the library calendar to celebrate poetry in all its forms.

2014 festival

The 2014 festival will take place from Thursday 17 July to Sunday 20 July and will include:

  • Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort, who was recently shortlisted for both the Costa Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Award
  • Elaine Feinstein, authour of 34 novels and poetry collections as well as biographies, radio plays and television dramas, will be in conversation with publisher and bookseller Ross Bradshaw of Five Leaves
  • The first ever Southwell Poetry Slam, where aspiring poets compete for the title of Southwell Poetry Slam Champion. Hosted by the Mulletproof Poet
  • Fascinating workshops on subjects as diverse as war poetry, the work of Philip Larkin and Viking verse
  • The Poetry Tree - a chance for children to write their own poems on paper leaves and add them to a magical outdoor display
  • The Canterbury Tales - Southwell Theatre Group and friends of Southwell Library present a dramatic retelling of Chaucer's classic stories


Time  Event  Cost

 Thursday 17 July


 7pm to 9pm

 Performance: We Are Seven


 Friday 18 July



 7pm to 8.30pm

 Festival Highlight: Elaine Feinstein


 Saturday 19 July



 10am to 3pm

 Children’s Activity: The Poetry Tree


 10am to 11am

 The Poetry is in the Pity


 11am to 3pm

 The Poetry Doctor


 11.30am to 12.30pm

 Workshop: While Your Hearts are Yearning


 1pm to 2pm

 Workshop: Viking Poetry


 2.30pm to 3.30pm

 Workshop: Renaissance Poetry: From Chivalry to Cannons


 4pm to 5pm

 Reading: Midlands Poets


 7pm to 9.30pm

 Festival Highlight: Poetry Slam


 Sunday 20 July



 11am to 12.30pm

 Lecture: Larkin's: A Poetry Landscape


 2pm to 4pm

 Workshop: With Rosie Garner


 4.30pm to 6pm

 Festival Highlight: Helen Mort


 7.30pm to 9.30pm

 Festival Highlight: The Canterbury Tales


Download the full 2014 festival programme [PDF].

All events take place at Southwell Library.


In person

Bookings for any of the events can be made in person at Southwell Library.

Cheques, credit and debit cards accepted.


Bookings can be made by phone, call Southwell Library on tel: 01636 812 148.

Credit and debit cards accepted.


Please indicate the event and number of tickets you require and enclose a cheque made payable to Nottinghamshire County Council.

Southwell Library
The Bramley Centre
King Street
NG25 0EH


E-mail: southwell.library@nottscc.gov.uk

Previous festivals

2013 festival

The 2013 festival took place from Wednesday 17 July to Sunday 21 July.

Highlights included:

  • Just for a Moment: a performance combining comedy, poetry and film, by Mark Gwynne Jones
  • Land, Sea and Air: An evening of pomp and circumstance featuring the Newark and Sherwood Brass Band accompanied by friends of Southwell Library
  • Tea and Cake with Gillian Clarke: a balm for the soul and stimulation for the intellect

Download the full Southwell Library Poetry Festival 2013 programme [PDF] 

2012 festival

The 2012 festival took place from Thursday 5 July to Sunday 8 July.

Poetry lovers were not deterred by the heavy rain. Benefiting from the cosy indoor locations within Southwell Library and Southwell Minster, organisers from Nottinghamshire County Council reported excellent crowds to welcome top poets including Wendy Cope and Ian McMillan.

Download the 2012 festival programme [PDF].

2011 festival

The 2011 festival ran from 3 to 9 July and included featured Simon Armitage, American Jazz and Poetry and Brian Moses .

Download the 2011 festival programme [PDF] 

2010 festival

The 2010 festival  took place in July of that year and featured Sir Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate 1999 - 2009; Michael Rosen, one of the UK's most-loved children's poets; and Jo Shapcott and Don Paterson, two of Britain's leading contemporary poets.

Photos from the 2010 festival

2009 festival

The 2009 festival took place from 11-19 July of that year and featured sessions on Byron, Chaucer, Tennyson and Carol Ann Duffy.

Download the 2009 festival programme [PDF]

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