The 2014 Cheltenham Poetry Festival runs
28 March - 6 April 2014.
With slams, workshops, poetry-cinema, music, comedy, theatre and more, Cheltenham Poetry Festival offers something to suit all tastes.
Next year’s festival includes: Owen Sheers on Dylan Thomas, celebrations of the Dymock Poets and of Laurie Lee, a staging of the acclaimed play A Handful of Rain, an adrenaline fuelled poetry slam, readings by acclaimed poets Ruth Padel and Don Patterson, a performance by People's Poet Laureate John Hegley, a tribute to Seamus Heaney, a screening of poetry inspired animations.
Please join our mailing list so we can keep you posted about future events.
Thank you to everyone who made Cheltenham Poetry Festival such a resounding success in 2103!
We enjoyed some wonderful performances from a wide variety of voices – we saw internationally acclaimed names perform with new and emerging poets, fused film with live readings and music with spoken word. Over 8 days we saw performances from some of the UK’s finest artists as filmmakers, singers, comedians, poets, biographers, and even belly dancers joined forces to celebrate the written and spoken word.
Thank you to The Arts Council England for making sure we could offer our wide and inspiring programme of performances, workshops and outreach activities.
Here’s what you had to say about the festival
What makes the Cheltenham Poetry Festival such a delight is the way the events follow each other with such excitement and energy: there is a real sense of things that are enjoyed and thought worthwhile. Nobody could attend it and not feel won over to the importance of poetry. Bernard O’Donoghue, poet
A remarkable festival - an exemplum for all poetry and literary festivals: great events, good-sized audiences, huge variety, and rather uniquely featuring a whole spectrum of poets, from emerging poets, to established writers, to very experienced well-known writers. I love that side of the festival: that it's open to writers at all different levels of experience. It's an amazing feat that you've done this, and I just wish we lived closer! Jonathan Taylor, author of the Entertaining Strangers (Salt) and Musicolepsey (Shoestring Press)
No one could fail to be impressed with the sheer hard work and enthusiasm for poetry which the organizers of the Cheltenham poetry festival evince in particular Anna Saunders, Ross Cogan, Robin Gilbert and the many others who give their time for no monetary reward. Together they have created something special and memorable. I was struck by the friendly and supportive atmosphere and one only has to browse through the expertly produced brochure to see what a wide and diverse range of poetic voices can be heard during the festival and it is certainly deserving of all the financial support it can receive to enable it to continue its valuable contribution to poetry in this country for many years to come. James Knox Whittet, poet
For poetry delights these days, Cheltenham in April is the place to be.
The Cheltenham Poetry Festival hasn't been going for long but it's already gained great respect and interest from the poetry-reading public. In two years this infant festival has grown to eight full days of events, thanks to its developing popularity not only locally but nationally . A seamless sequence of well-presented high-profile occasions, well-organised, well advertised, thoroughly professional and immensely enjoyable. R.V.Bailey, poet
It was a huge treat to be involved in this year's Cheltenham Poetry Festival; a great venue, wonderful poetry companions and a superb audience all made up for a really memorable day. Claire Dyer, poet
The festival was truly magical. Jean Riley, poet
The Cheltenham Poetry festival now coming up to its fourth year goes from strength to strength.
Spear-headed by Anna Saunders (founder/director), assisted by her able team of Robin, Ross and Carolyn, with suggestion and feedback welcomed from participants and punters, the Festival is a magical mix of well-known names and newcomers, book launches, readings, performance poetry, 'slam', music and workshops. Jennie Farley, poet, tutor
A truly great festival. Mark Robbins, Chairman, Worcester Literature Festival
Amazing time at Cheltenham Poetry Festival yesterday! Fantastic to hear Maria Taylor and Jonathan Taylor read from their collections. The Nine Arches Press poetry rodeo with Maria Taylor, Matt Merritt, Daniel Sluman and Angela France was excellent - great poem-&-response format and some wonderful poems. Sarah James, poet
The festival really impressed me with its excellent line-up and organisation. The venues for readings were really special, in particular the Hotel Du Vin, and the events I went to were very well attended. It was a lively, captivating and highly memorable festival. Maria Taylor, poet
A great ambience - the best slam I have seen! Phil Bowen, author
A lovely festival. Alwyn Marriage, poet and director of Oversteps Press.
One of the things I like about the Cheltenham poetry festival is that, although there are plenty of big names due at the second weekend – Bernard O’Donoghue, Fiona Sampson, Christopher Reid, Jeremy Reid, and Nick Drake, to name but a few – there are in the meantime lots of opportunities for aspiring, grassroots poets to perform. Greg Freeman, Write Out Loud