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Winchester Poetry Festival returns for 2023

The programme for Winchester Poetry Festival 2023 is live and tickets are on sale now.


We invite readers, writers, poetry-lovers and the poetry-curious to join us at The ARC, Winchester on 13-15 October as our flagship event returns for 2023 - Winchester Poetry Festival 2023.

We launched the dynamic programme for Winchester Poetry Festival 2023 on Mon 26 June to a room bursting with poets, musicians, sponsors and supporters at The Railway Inn, Winchester. There are 22 events you can book onto as of now, which centre around the festival theme of ‘languages of the UK’.


Featured poets include multi-award winner Daljit Nagra; legendary Welsh poet and activist Menna Elfyn; prolific performance poet Luke Wright; prize-winning poet Zaffar Kunial; sci-fi verse novelist Harry Josephine Giles; critically acclaimed poet and biographer Matthew Hollis and many more.





Clare Pollard (Artist Director, Winchester Poetry Festival) says:

“Some of the best weekends of my life have been at Poetry Festivals - there is nothing I love more than the buzz of live-readings, the sharing of ideas, and the sense of being part of an artistic community. I am honoured to have been able to curate this year's programme for the Winchester Poetry Festival. Our theme - the languages of the United Kingdom - is a wonderful excuse to showcase a diverse range of exciting poetries. There will be Cornish, Tamil, Scots, Romany, Bengali, Orcadian, Welsh and LatinX poetry, alongside poets using the language in new and exciting ways, from Daljit Nagra's 'Indiom' to Matthew Hollis talking about Eliot's polyglot 'The Waste-Land'. Liz Berry will help you write your own dialect poems, Andrea Davidson's children's workshop will celebrate 'Writing Poetry in your Languages', whilst Shamim Azad will give you the chance to try your hand at Bengali translation (no language knowledge necessary). Add in some crowd-pleasing new shows from John Hegley and Luke Wright, a showcase of the hottest debuts and our Winchester Poetry Prize Winners as judged by Zaffar Kunial and there should be something to whet the appetite of anyone who loves language and literature. I can't wait.”


The programme for Winchester Poetry Festival 2023 brings a wealth of experienced poets to Winchester alongside the opportunity to discover major new talents. There are varied access points throughout the programme, with BSL interpreters and live streaming at key events, “relaxed performances”, online workshops and a large proportion of the programme is free entry. We aim for Winchester Poetry Festival 2023 to be a celebration of poetry where everyone feels included and welcome.


Join us at The ARC this October for an impressive literary line-up which celebrates the diversity and intrigue of poetry in the UK.



Winchester Poetry Festival is supported by Hampshire Cultural Trust, University Of Winchester, Winchester City Council, Winchester BID and Paris Smith.



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