Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ESSEX POETRY FESTIVAL 2010 - 23rd September - 9th October

At the top is Victor Tapner, Derek Adams and Anita Marie Sackett, all are well known Essex poets. Anita, is back home from the SWWJ weekend conference to take part in the National Poetry Day which has the theme of 'Home' this year, and poetry is making itself at home in Essex for the sixteen days of the Essex Poetry Festival. Here are a few of the great poets to be seen in Essex during the coming month. George Szirtes and Annie Freud are also appearing. Many of the poets taking part already call Essex home, twenty-three of the thirty five featured poets either live or were born in Essex.

The festival started with a double whammy on September 23rd. At the Greyhound Pub in Wivenhoe, the hugely entertaining André Mangeot (Cambridge) performed with local poet Peter Johnson for poetrywivenhoe. At Rayleigh library five Southend based spoken word artists, Simon Blackman, Stuart Bowditch, Jo Overfield, Ray Morgan and Cherryl Scott, known collectively as the Sundown Poets delivered an evening of stand-up poetry.

The festival plays away from home on October 1st. Three poets, Susan Grindley, Katrina Naomi and Victor Tapner will take a taste of this year's festival to Lumen in Kings Cross, one of London's major poetry venues.

From October 2nd until the 8th, Essex libraries will be home to a series of readings and poetry writing events. Harlow (John Steer) and South Woodham Ferrers (Anita Marie Sackett) will have poetry writing activities for children (7 to 12 years). Events with local schools will take place at Colchester (Sally Festing & Caroline Phillips). Shenfield (Anita Marie Sackett) and Witham (Anne Welsh). There will be readings from poets at Canvey (Adrian Green & Denis Ahern), Hullbridge (Derek Adams & Tim Cunningham) and Rochford (Clare Harvey & Mervyn Linford). Poets will be reading from their work and leading poetry writing workshops at Billericay (Tim Cunningham), Dunmow (Alex Smith) & Walton (Roz Hall).

October 6th, award winning poets Judy Brown and Katrina Naomi (recently poet in residence at the Bronte Parsonage Museum), will be guests of the Southend Poetry Group, at the Naval and Military Club, Southend.

The Essex Poetry Festival culminates with a day of events on October 9th at the Cramphorn theatre in Chelmsford. In the morning the Mayor will be handing out the prestigious Essex Young Poet of the Year Award.

In the afternoon there will be the chance for you to perform on the festival stage at the popular open Mic spot. Poet Clare Crossman and singer-songwriter Penni Mclaren Walker together with musician Bryan Caulston are Fensong, with their unique mix of poems and songs that tell modern folktales of the Fens. Victor Tapner from Billericay will be reading from his new book ' Flatlands' in the Essex poets slot, along with Susan Grindley (Leigh) and Kayo Chingongi (Dagenham). The evening starts with competition judge Kathryn Simmonds handing out the £1000 first prize to the winner of the 10th Essex Poetry Festival Open Poetry competition, and reading from the prize winners. The evening is rounded off with performances from three of the countries best contemporary poets, expect lyrical dexterity, sly erotica and absurdist humour from George Szirtes, Annie Freud and Luke Kennard.

Ask for a festival leaflet at you local library or visit the festival website www.essex-poetry-festival.co.uk Further info: www.essex-poetry-festival.co.uk email derek@essex-poetry-festival.co.uk Tel 07985 617559