South Downs Poetry Festival – the Story so Far
The second year of the festival is now completed. Here is a summary of the main events in 2017:
- The South Downs Poetry Competition, judged by Jackie Wills, opened for entries at the end of February. Shortlisted entries were read at our Lewes event in June.
- Sunday April 9 – Steep Village near Petersfield in Hampshire. A day of commemoration for the centenary of the death of Edward Thomas. The day included walks, workshops, music and readings, rounded off with a sell-out evening of commemoration in Steep Church.
- Friday April 28 – Monday May 1 – A poetry residential held at the Sustainability Centre high on the Hampshire Downs. Lead tutors are Kim Moore and Hugh Dunkerley.
- Poetry in the Park. was a month long series of events in bookshops, libraries, churches and local halls across the South Downs National Park. Free events included a weekend of poetry in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire and a poetry day in the Cass Sculpture Park in West Sussex. A day workshop from Stephanie Norgate was held in Brighton.
- June 23 – 25 – A full weekend of poetry in Lewes, East Sussex, based around the Linklater Pavilion. Featured poets included Ann-Marie Fyfe, Grace Nichols, Rhymes with Orange, John Foggin and Rebecca Gethin.
- 14/15 July – A series of poetry events within East Hampshire, including free events at The Harrow in Steep and Petersfield Library for children. Featured poets included Norbert Herschhorn, Patricia McCarthy and Raymond Antrobus