Liverpool Poets at Liverpool Literature Festival

There will be a big homecoming of Liverpool poets during the Liverpool Literature Festival from 3-9 November, with writers coming from all over the UK and abroad to share their work in over ten events over the weekend. I’ll feature some events here that are the most interesting.

The festival kicks off with a workshop on women’s poetry with Rebecca Goss, at 12 noon on Monday 3 November at the wonderful venue the Bluecoat. There are only 20 places in total and it’s free. Tickets have already been sold so if you’re interested in exploring key stages in women’s lives through poetry in this very interesting event, please consider getting your ticket now.

The first poetry event on Saturday 8 November at 10.30am is a reading and discussion with Jo Shapcott, Jamie McKendrick and Raymond Tallis around the anthology of poems Signs and Humours. It brings together one hundred poems from the last 2,000 years to show how one of the most basic human concerns – the body – has continued to fascinate and agitate poets.

We have a fantastic Liverpool Poets series of four events throughout the weekend, starting off with Liverpool Poets One with Brian Patten (12.30 Saturday 8 November), then Liverpool Poets Two with Roger McGough (2.30 Saturday 8 November), Liverpool Poets Three with Peter Robinson, Paul Farley and Jamie McKendrick (12noon Sunday 9 November), and finally Liverpool Poets Four with John Redmond and Deryn Rees-Jones (2pm Sunday 9 November).

Brian Patten is also doing an event for the whole family, showcasing his Gargling with Jelly poetry collection. See him at the Bluecoat, all family events are free but tickets are advised.

Another fantastic poetry workshop masterclass is being held by Jorie Graham on Saturday 8 November at 10.30am. This is a unique opportunity to observe the thought processes and decisions that go into the making of a poem by watching a great comtemporary poet at work, by discussing several poems of local writers, or offering up your own poem for discussion. Tickets are also limited to this event and are selling quickly.

We have several reading and discussion events over the weekend with poets Jorie Graham, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, and the editors of Modern Poetry in Translation David and Helen Constantine.

There is also a unique opportunity to view films made of poems, with Comma Films producing several short films of poems and short stories, and there are two opportunities to see these collections at FACT on the Saturday. All event at FACT are free.

And finally, a literature festival isn’t complete with a panel discussion or two. Festival writers join together for two poetry panel events on Sunday: Michael Schmidt hosts a panel discussion exploring the question ‘Are the value and use of poetry in conflict?’, and Roger McGough takes us on an interactive session in which the audience gets to ask the panel to select poems for particular occaisons. Keep watching our website for confirmed festival writers taking part.

Tickets are now on sale are selling really well. With one month to go we’ve already had a tremendous response. I would suggest you buy early to avoid dissapointment, and take advantage of some great discount deals going through The Philharmonic Box Office. Buy 5 for the price of 4, and special £1 student tickets if you buy your ticket in person with your student ID. See www.liverpoollitfest.org.uk for full ticket details, and please do get in touch if you would like us to send you a brochure. Email reneehemmings<at>thereader.org.uk.

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