Winchester Poetry Festival has been successful once again in obtaining Arts Council funding and will return in October 2020 with a more ambitious festival than ever before.
Winchester Poetry Festival has become a major player in the poetry world, with a reputation for innovative programming and for nurturing new talent, championing many of the most exciting poets from the UK and beyond. This year is no exception.
The 2020 festival will tie in with Mayflower400 – the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower – which is being marked by a number of organisations in Hampshire.
Festival co-director Sasha Dugdale said: “The programme will focus particularly on the ‘special relationship’ between UK & American poetry and poets, in recognition of the Mayflower400 commemoration. We’re very excited about building on the demonstrable success of previous festivals with a diverse and dynamic range of poets from both sides of the pond, some very well known writers, alongside thrilling new voices and a bigger and better programme of education and community events.”
Each festival has seen a significant expansion and development of the offer to audiences, and 2020 will see some events taking place in Southampton before and after the main festival weekend 9-11 October. The festival has a network of local partnerships that continue to grow, including established outreach programmes with Treloar College in Alton, Solent Mind, and following a successful pilot in 2018, ‘Young Wordsmiths’, a talent development programme for 6th form college students.
In a sign of the respect in which Winchester Poetry Festival is held, a number of US poets will travel to Winchester for the October event, some of them developing a ‘correspondence’ about their work and practice with UK based poets in the preceding months.
Stephen Boyce, Chair of Winchester Poetry Festival said: “We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council for their continuing support of the festival and all our activities; their funding is a great boost. We are very proud to be able to bring this ambitious programme to Hampshire. There are a range of sponsorship opportunities available to companies who would like to work with us.”
The Festival takes place at Winchester Discovery Centre and other venues around the city as well as hosting some events in Southampton the city from which The Mayflower set off on its journey in 1620 . The full festival programme will be announced at a launch in April 2020