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Hampshire Poet blog - April 2024

Updated: Apr 25

During his two year tenure, your new Hampshire Poet - Damian Kelly-Basher - will be writing a series of blog posts for us sharing what he has been up to, telling us his poetic plans for the future, and inviting you to get involved in poetry in Hampshire. Read on to find out what's happening in Damian's world!

Hi, I’m Damian - the new Hampshire Poet.

Over the next 2 years, I want to invite

people to HAVE FUN with poetry and words. So, let’s begin….


As a writer-performer, I’ve always loved the playful and imaginative writing of the


What is Surrealism?

Surrealism began as a form of creative writing in Europe in the 1920s. It was

influenced by the then, ‘new’ ideas of Freud and psycho-analysis. The Surrealists wanted to use new ways of writing to highlight the workings of our unconscious minds. Since then, it’s inspired many forms of experimental art (e.g. visual art and film) Now, in 2024, Surrealism is everywhere: in adverts, pop videos and comedy. So...

During October 2024 I’ll run a festival to celebrate “The Century of Surrealism”.

Because, 100 years ago, on 1st October 1924, Yvan Goll published the first

“Surrealist Manifesto”.

Two weeks later, on 15th October 1924, Andre Breton also published “The First

Surrealist Manifesto”. (Well, I did say they were imaginative 😉 ).

The Festival will start on Tuesday 1st October 2024 at Poetry Platform, The Railway Inn,

I’ll also be running other surrealist events during October 2024. (tba).

Come and join the party!

This is a call out to all Spoken Word Events and Writing Groups in Hampshire.

1. I’m inviting you to make “Surrealism” the theme of your October 2024 events.

2. I’m also inviting you to write your own Surrealist Manifesto about what you do.

3. Please share your events and manifestos online. If you tag me #HampshirePoet (or @damkellybash on instagram) we can also promote them on our socials.

It’s totally up to you how you do this. Just PLAY AND HAVE FUN! “...then the mind

detaches itself a bit from the human mechanism and (we are) no longer the bicycle of

(our) senses” - Francisco Aragon.

Damian Kelly-Basher is Hampshire Poet Laureate 2024-26. The appointment of the Hampshire Poet takes place every two years and is jointly led by Winchester Poetry Festival and Hampshire Cultural Trust. The position of Hampshire Poet provides the opportunity for a Hampshire-based poet to undertake commissions, lead workshops and give readings and talks throughout the county, as well as acting as an advocate for poetry and poets.

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