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BOOKING DETAILS As some of our events are in intimate venues with limited tickets on offer, we suggest you buy your tickets in advance. Please visit for all events, or via, 01242 572573 for Everyman events or visit our booking office at Cheltenham Town Hall at or call Tickets Hotline: 0844 576 2210 for all other events. PLEASE NOTE OUR CONCESSIONARY PRICES ARE FOR THE UNEMPLOYED, STUDENTS AND THE DISABLED

PREVIEW WEEKEND Please peruse our menu of poetry aperitifs and spoken word starters to wet your appetite before the Festival kicks off.

WEDNESDAY 19 th MARCH The Ides of March - Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra ft Cheltenham Poetry Poets 8pm- 10pm, Francis Close Chapel, £5/4 Join the Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra for an evening of experimental music, poetry and film on the themes of that most celebrated season - Spring.


All events at Copa, Upstairs Venue Room

Angie Belcher – The One Woman Show 6pm -7pm, £5/4 Angie Belcher is a Bristol-based stand-up poet, writer and actor. Her work is fresh, fruity and not for the faint-hearted. Book early for this incredibly entertaining one-woman show! ‘Funny, crude and incredibly charming’ - Bertel Martin, Word of Mouth. ‘A sort-of Pam Ayres with attitude and an adult audience’ - Bristol Evening Post Chloe the Midnight Storyteller - Tales of Lust and Chocolate! 7.30pm-8.30pm, £5/4 Lyrical language meets wicked stand-up style when Chloë of the Midnight Storytellers performs her naughtiest Story Cabaret show yet! This show blends traditional, contemporary and original material. No script - this is genuine ‘hot-off-the-tongue’ verbal jazz! Age 15+ only. ‘A master storyteller’ Cotswold Life Neil & Tina’s Naughty Night Out 9pm-10pm, £5/4

Performance poets Neil Spokes and Tina Sederholm present their bawdilicious, braggardly cabaret of music and comedy poetry. Tina is a multiple slam winner and in 2013 was voted Best Female Performer by the Oxford Arts Group, and runner-up in Best Spoken Word Show at the Edinburgh Free Fringe. Neil is a slam poetry winner and musician. Please join this power couple for a rather risqué night out!

SATURDAY 22 nd MARCH Picaresque 2pm-3pm, Tailors, £5/4

Picaresque (def: troubadour adventurers who live by their wits) is a troupe of award-winning poets led by Jennie Farley, presenting poetry that is both edgy and lyrical, each poet with her own distinctive voice.

In Tune with Dementia. A play by Howard Timms 4pm-5pm, Copa, £5/4

Written and performed by playwright Howard Timms, In Tune With Dementia is a true-life dramatization in which a son struggles to reconnect with his disabled mother suffering from dementia. As they share


PREVIEW WEEKEND songs and stories, both humorous and tragic memories emerge, along with shocking questions about paternity and heritage. ‘A beautifully written piece...very real, and very raw’ - Rory Morgan at the Edinburgh Fringe. All proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mermaid Purse with Lucy Ayrton 6pm-7pm, Copa, £5/4 Mermaids have it all. Perfect hair, sexy scales, singing lobsters... Everything, apart from legs. And what’s between them. Join Lucy Ayrton for a poetic feminist fable set under the sea, off the magical coast of Hull. ‘Brilliantly subversive’ - The Scotsman ***** - Sabotage Reviews Stroud Pamphlet Poets 7.30pm-8.30pm, Copa, £4/3 We are delighted to welcome Stroud Pamphlet Poets back this year. An eclectic mix of highly regarded poets, all with different perspectives on life and divergent voices, the group is coordinated poet by Rick Vick. The Stroud Pamphlet Poets are Rick Vick, Eley Furrel, Diana Humphrey, Maria Butonoi, John Mc Lennan, Kate Montgomery, Judy Newman and others.

TUESDAY 25th MARCH Cheltenham Poetry Festival Youth Slam! 7pm-9pm, Cheltenham Town Hall, £5 Watch teams of budding poets from schools across the county go head to head in a high-energy battle of rhyme and reason! Hosted by Spoz.

Jordans’ Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2014 FRIDAY 28 TH MARCH - SUNDAY 6 TH APRIL FRIDAY 28 th MARCH Don Paterson & David Briggs

David Briggs

The Everyman Studio Theatre, 6.30pm-7.30pm, £8/5 Don Paterson has been described as ‘one of the most ferociously talented of all British poets’ (Catherine Lockerbie) and he is renowned for his charismatic delivery – don’t miss out on this chance to see one of our greatest living poets in action. David Briggs’s new collection The Method Man doffs its cap to a wide range of influences, from the Graveyard School to Miroslav Holub, from John Ash to Ted Hughes, from Marianne Moore to Charles Boyle. His work has been described by Clare Pollard as ‘seriously good, intelligent poetry for those who like method in their madness’.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam! The Everyman Studio Theatre, 8pm-10pm, £8/5

Fasten your seat-belts - it’s time for the fast and furious, spoken-word stand-off of the year! Watch twelve poets go head-to-head, X-Factor-style for the CPF Cup. Expect rhyme, very little reason and some smoking spoken word! Come and cheer on your favourite poets or simply sit back and enjoy the oral dexterity and literary prowess of some of the UK’s hottest slam stars as they fight it out in a thrilling war of the words!

The Quiet Compere presents A Matter of Life, Death and Poetry 8pm-10pm, Copa, £5/3 The legendary Quiet Compere events enlist established poets and emerging voices. The Quiet Compere introduces them with little fanfare, so that the poems (and not the poets’ track records) tell you all you need to know. This festival special features a stellar line-up – Rosie Garland, Samir Guglani, Sarah Maxwell, Bethany W Pope, Stephanie Portersmith, Rod Tame, Avril Staple and of course the compere herself, Sarah Dixon.


DYLAN THOMAS DAY SATURDAY 29 th MARCH The launch of Flying Through Houses by Miki Byrne

11am-12.00 midday, Copa, £4/3 Poet and radio personality Miki Byrne is the author of two earlier collections of poetry - Nice Bits and Hissy-fits and Mackerel Sky. She has won many prizes for her work and made many appearances on TV and radio. Flying Through Houses has been described as ‘touching, intriguing, unexpectedly lovely’ by Alison Brackenbury and ‘full of wry wit and humour’ by Angela France.

CPF is delighted to offer a series of events celebrating the work of Dylan Thomas, in the centenary year of his birth. John Goodby - The Dylan Thomas Lecture

11.00am-12.00 midday, The Everyman Studio Theatre, £7/5 John Goodby is an academic, an international expert on Dylan Thomas and one of Wales’s leading poets. He presents this fascinating illustrated talk, which will shed light on the life and work of one of the 20th Century’s most loved poets.

John Goodby & Kate North plus Open Mic

1pm-2pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre, £7/5 John Goodby’s richly inventive verse has gained him many followers. Dylan Thomas His collection A Birmingham Yank, was described as ‘profound’ and ‘lush’ by Sean O’Brien, and as ‘a joy to read and hear as well as think about’ by Ian Duhig. Kate North is an academic and poet, whose collection Bistro provides a delicious insight into our relationships with each other - and with food.

Phil Bowen & Peter Read - A Solitary Mister 2.30pm-3.30pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre, £7/5 Poets Phil Bowen and Peter Read talk about iconic poet Dylan Thomas, his enduring appeal and the legacy of his work.

Laurie Lee – a celebration of a Gloucestershire poet’s work sponsored by Greenway Hotel and Spa 4.30pm-6pm, The Chapel, Francis Close Hall, The University of Gloucestershire, £7/4

This prestigious event celebrates the work of one of the UK’s most celebrated writers, who, like Dylan Thomas, was born in 1914. Laurie Lee grew up in Slad near Stroud, and much of his poetry and prose captures the spirit of the Gloucestershire countryside. This event will include readings of his poetry, film, new poems inspired by Laurie Lee and contributions by experts. The event will be led by poet Angela France.

Laurie Lee


SAT URDAY 2 9 TH / S U NDAY 3 0 TH M A RC H Spark

Spark, The Goblin Wizard A theatre show with Dominic Berry for children 5+ and their families

4.30pm-6.00pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre, £7/5 Spark’s magic rhymes can turn anything into anything. However, something terrible begins to happen in the enchanted forest. Here be wasps, werewolves and wily wickedness! Maybe not even Spark’s spells will be enough to stop a strange new power threatening the woods and everyone in them... With lyrics, laughs and lots of joining in, poet Dommy B needs your help to save the day! Dommy B has won New York’s famous ‘Nuyorican Poetry Cafe Slam’ and UK ‘Superheroes of Slam’. This show follows his sell-out 2013 tour ‘The Dragon Who Hates Poetry’.

Dylan’s Last Journey - a play by Peter Read 7pm - 8pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre , £7/5 Dylan’s Last Journey is a drama based on Dylan Thomas’s letters from America, charting the ultimate demise of the poet before his final date with destiny and the whisky bottle. The play recounts Thomas’s increasing desperation as he tries to balance the need to write with the demands and distractions of a rapturous American public. A deeply moving piece of theatre shot through with humour. Poet, ghost writer and playwright Peter Read received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe for his depiction of Dylan Thomas. We are delighted to be showing this moving piece of theatre at the Festival this year.

John Hegley – I am a Poetato! A Poetry Mash-up sponsored by Jordans Solicitors

John Hegley

8.30pm - 10pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre, £11/9 The ‘scandalously talented’ (Sunday Times) comedian, poet, performer, Radio 4 favourite and People’s Poet Laureate John Hegley returns to Cheltenham for one night only. John Hegley has produced ten books of verse and prose pieces, two CDs and one mug; he is noted for his exploration of such diverse topics as dog hair, potatoes, handkerchiefs and the misery of human existence. ‘Bleeding marvellous’ - NME. With special guests.

SUNDAY 30 th MARCH Ross Cogan, The Mead of Poetry 11am-12.00 midday, Oxfam, Free/donation to the Festival

Norse myth take us to a world utterly unlike our own, full of magic and horror, yet one that is instantly recognisable. Festival Creative Director Ross Cogan has updated them and worked some of the best known into a poetic sequence, which receives its premier at this year’s festival.

Myth, Memory and Music with Jennie Farley, David Clarke, Chris Hemingway & Open Mic.

12.30pm-1.30pm, Oxfam, £5/4 David Clarke’s first pamphlet, Gaud, won the Flarestack Pamphlet Prize. His work is immaculately crafted and richly eloquent. Jennie Farley’s poetry has been widely published and won several national awards. Her first collection Masks & Feathers was published in 2012. Chris Hemingway is a local singer songwriter and poet whose work blends humorous narrative and poetic pathos. The event includes an Open Mic - please bring poems on any of these themes.


S U N DA Y 3 0 TH M A R C H Kidland - Paul Kingsnorth & Kiran Millwood Hargrave

2pm-3.00pm, Oxfam, £5/4 In association with the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Gloucestershire Branch ( Environmentalist and poet, Paul Kingsnorth’s collection Kidland is an attempt to create a ‘deep green’ poetic narrative based largely around the British landscape. His earthy and mesmeric poetic voice has drawn comparisons to Ted Hughes, and the collection has been described as ‘extraordinary’ by Jay Griffiths. Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s poetry has been described as ‘urgent, unnerving, always elegant’ (Helen Mort) and she has been described as ‘one of the most exciting young voices writing today’ - Tom Corbett

Paul Kingsnorth

Wenlock Poetry Festival presents River Passage and other Poems 3.30pm-4.30pm, Oxfam, £4/3

Jeff Phelps’ prize-winning poem River Passage is produced as a CD by Offa’s Press with piano music by Dan Phelps. His novels, Painter Man and Box of Tricks, are published by Tindal Street Press. Marilyn Gunn’s poetry is inspired by, and written in, her allotment and greenhouse. Words from the Glasshouse brings together forty years of her work

Astrid Alben & Carolyn Finlay

Astrid Alben

3.30pm-4.30pm, Jamie’s Italian, £5/4 Astrid Alben has been described as, ‘a new and original voice in English poetry, serious and uncompromising’ and her poetry has been called ‘daring and dazzling’ (Tribune Magazine). Festival Director Carolyn Finlay is the author of two poetry collections, and editor of one anthology. Her finely crafted poetry is rich in luminous imagery and has been praised for its ‘way with language that is at once precise and sensuous’ by Lindsay Clarke. Carolyn will be reading poems from her collections, Giveaway, Foreigner, and The Second Time she Drowned.

To the Stars and Back with Pat Borthwick, Maria Butunoi, Jean Riley 5pm-6pm, The Strand Upper Room, £6/4 Roger Garfitt has described Pat Borthwick as ‘a conjuror with real stars up her sleeve’ and Pat’s light touch with dramatic themes makes for powerful performances. Maria Butunoi has won 12 Romanian national prizes for poetry. Her work in English is beautifully understated and thrillingly sharp. Jean Riley recently won the chance to study with Carol Ann Duffy. Her poignant, lyrical poetry explores themes such as grief, space shuttles and the experience of visiting poetry festivals. Join us, and let poetry take you on a flight of fantasy!

Pat Borthwick


SU NDAY 30 TH / MO NDAY 31 S T M A RC H Sujata Bhatt & Gillian Barker

6.30pm-7.30pm, The Strand Upper Room, £6/4 Sujata Bhatt is the author of eight collections of poetry from Carcanet and received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award for her first collection, Brunizem (1988). Her poetry has been translated into more than twenty languages. Gillian Barker is an exciting new voice, who discovered poetry after workshops at Faber Academy and the Poetry School. Gillian is a member of Picaresque, a troupe of performing poets led by Jennie Farley.

The Poetry of Hotels sponsored by The Big Sleep Hotel

8pm-9pm, The Strand Upper Room, Free Hotels have always provided a place for the travelling poet to lay his or her head, and some, like the Chelsea Hotel, have been a hotbed of creativity. Join us to explore the artistic potential of these public/private places of escape and indulgence. With a reading of new poetry on the themes of hotels and an Open Mic in which you can share your own work. Supported by Cheltenham Poetry Festival Sponsor The Big Sleep Hotel.

MONDAY 31 st MARCH From Stage to Page with Helen Calcutt & Eley Furrell

6.30pm-7.30pm, The Strand Upper Room, £5/4 Dancer Helen Calcutt’s first collection of poetry Sudden Rainfall has been described as ‘radical’, ‘intimate’ and ‘probing‘. Don’t miss the chance to hear this ‘compelling young voice’ read. Eley Furrell is an actor and poet who performs his perfectly honed poetry with verve and charisma.

Helen Calcutt

Cheltenham Poetry Society Showcase 8pm-9pm, The Strand Upper Room, £4/3

At the Festival in 2013, members of the Society launched their latest anthology Beyond the Well-Mapped Provinces - ‘These accomplished poets are masters of their craft; images are unexpected or striking’ (Patrick Osada in South). They return with a reading of fresh work. Details of the Society’s wide and varied programme and of how to become involved may be found at

Troubadours of the Spirit with Jay Ramsay, Angie Spencer & Kate Firth

Jay Ramsay


9.30pm-10.30pm, Jamie’s Italian, £5/4 Jay Ramsay (‘England’s foremost transformation poet’ - Caduceus magazine) will be joined by Kate Firth and Angie Spencer, poets who also combine incisive insight, passion and understanding with humour and a strong sense of beauty/soulfulness. Jay is the author of many books ( and Kate and Angie will be performing from their new collections Venus Reborn, and Falling Into Grace (Chrysalis Poetry).


9.30pm-10.30pm, The Strand Upper Room, £5/4 Women hold up half the sky, but are often under-represented in poetry publishing and reviewing. Not, however, at Cheltenham Poetry Festival; join poets Angela France, Dani Schlosser and others for an hour of poetry readings with a feminist edge. Angela France’s third collection Hide was published last year, garnering great reviews; Dani Schlosser is a PhD student at the University of Gloucestershire.


The Hitting Game - Bobby Parker & Graham Clifford 6.30pm-7.30pm, The Muffin Man, £6/4 Graham Clifford’s collection Welcome Back to the Country was Winner of the 2010 Poetry Wales Purple Moose Poetry Collection Award and his work has been described as ‘inventive, unflinching, mysterious, even magical’ by Alison Brackenbury. His new collection The Hitting Game is due out with Seren this June. Bobby Parker‘s poignant and darkly humorous poetry has been described as ‘utterly human’ (The Quietus) and has drawn comparisons with Charles Bukowski.

Bobby Parker

Romantically Speaking - Poetry of Love and Music with Charles Bennett & jay arr

jay arr

8pm-9pm, The Muffin Man, £5/4 Poet Charles Bennett is renowned for both dynamic collaborations with leading musicians and for the range and quality of his poetic work. Celebrated in the 2012 BBC Proms and featured on an increasing number of recordings, his work with choral composer Bob Chilcott has led to him being hailed as a ‘memorable and mesmerising’ librettist. John Richardson, who performs and publishes as jay arr, is a prize-winning poet and one of the founder members of Swindon’s BlueGate poets. Sharply honed, emotionally honest and full of exquisite imagery, his work has been described by Kay Newman as ‘brilliant, fantastically good’.

The University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing Showcase 9.30pm-10.30pm, The Muffin Man, free / donation to the festival The University of Gloucestershire runs a highly regarded Creative Writing Course for prose and poetry students. Please join us for a showcase of poetry by some emerging voices. Hosted by poet Adam Magee.


W E D N E S DAY 2 N D A P R I L Cheltenham Opera Society, Cheltenham Poetry Festival & The English Touring Opera Present

An Emily Dickinson Recital 12 noon, St Andrews United Reform Church, £8

English Touring Opera and Cheltenham Opera Society join forces with Cheltenham Poetry Festival for the first time to bring to life the remarkable words of one of America ’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson. Famous for his unique blend of jazz harmonies and folk tunes, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Copland (Of Mice and Men, Appalachian Spring) interprets Dickinson ’s words in his song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson.

Emily Dickinson

These songs for voice and piano echo the poet’s concise yet lyric language and include some of her most famous poems, such as ‘Heart, We Will Forget Him!’ and ‘The Chariot’.

As part of ETO’s annual Spring visit to Cheltenham, singer Caryl Hughes and pianist Harry Ogg give this lunchtime performance, featuring all twelve of Copland’s songs. Caryl will also sing a short selection of opera arias. Coolly emotional, lyrical and profound, Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is modern music at its most eloquent and exciting by two of America ’s best-loved artists of all time.

Caryl Hughes


WEDNESDAY 2 ND / THURSDAY 3 RD APRIL The A38 Roadshow sponsored by Jordan’s Solicitors 6pm-7pm, Café Rouge, £6/4

Take a road trip with our roaming bards: perky performance poet Lucy English, witty and erudite Charles Thompson (leader of the well-respected Lansdown Group of poets), Richard Devereux, purveyor of hilarious and dryly observed verse, powerful wordsmith Rebecca Tantony with master of the ivories Silvertortoise and singer-songwriters Mireille Mathlener and Richard Craine, who will enchant you with their tender melodies.

She Said / He Said with William Bedford and Hilda Sheehan

Hilda Sheehan

7.30pm-8.30pm, Café Rouge, £5/4 Described as ‘one of the finest poets and writers of our generation’, (Karen Maitland), William Bedford has been praised for his ‘vivid and poignant’ (Warwick Review) and ‘thrilling’ (Sunday Telegraph) writing. Hilda Sheehan has been praised for her ‘joyful, freewheeling poetry’ by Martin Malone, and her captivating performances blend mischievous wit with wry observations on human nature. In this unique event, William and Hilda pay homage to Robert Browning’s masterpiece Men and Women, where the author tells us everything we might want to know about love - this time, however, showing us both sides of the same story.

Edd Donovan & Clayton Blizzard Something to Take the Edge Off sponsored by Jordans Solicitors 9pm-10pm, Café Rouge, £5/4

Edd Donovan

Edd Donovan is a singer-songwriter who is inspired by the likes of Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, and Fleet Foxes. He has been praised for his poetic lyrics and his first album Something To Take The Edge Off has been highly reviewed. Clayton Blizzard is a one-man folk / hip hop army who is lyrically inventive, politically satirical and extremely funny. Don’t miss this chance to see two very different, but equally entertaining musical talents and inspired lyricists.

THURSDAY 3 rd APRIL Poetry in Motion 6.30pm-7.30pm, Jamie’s Italian, free / donation to festival

Performing arts students at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College present this unique poetry show, which combines contemporary texts, movement and music. The show is co-ordinated by Helen Wingrave, Head of the Performing Arts Department.


T H U R S DAY 3 R D / F R I DAY 4 T H A P R I L The Launch of Struck - Anna Saunders & Jeremy Page sponsored by Greenway Hotel and Spa

8pm-9.30pm, Copa, £5/4 Join us for the launch of Struck (Pindrop Press), by Festival founder and Executive Director, Anna Saunders - ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ (Bernard O’Donoghue). ‘A bold and beautiful collection’ (David Clarke), full of ‘dazzling and intoxicating’ images (James Knox Whittet). The event includes the premier of a short film by Royal Photographic Society member Helen Dewbery. Jeremy Page’s short stories have been published in magazines like Ambit, Citizen 32 and The Interpreter’s House, and he is the author of several collections of poems, most recently In and Out of the Dark Wood (HappenStance, 2010). His works ‘shine and shimmer with insight and entertainment’, Will Daunt.

Kieran King, Steve Pottinger & Danny Murphy - Stand-up and be Counted!

9.45pm-10.45pm, Copa, £6/4 Staple of the Manchester poetry scene and host of Manchester’s premier poetry night, Kieran King is a multiple slam-winning poet and workshop facilitator. He is also the organiser and host of the first ever Greater Manchester Slam championships. ‘As a performer and host Kieran King is making a real splash. Definitely one to watch. So go and watch him soon’. Tony Walsh. Steve Pottinger aka The Angry Poet offers punchy, passionate, political verse. Danny Murphy is an exciting new voice on the spoken word scene; his set went down a storm at Birmingham’s Hit The Ode night. Don’t miss your chance to see him perform here in Cheltenham.

FRIDAY 4 th APRIL The Cherington Poets - The Road to Cherington

6.30pm-7.30pm, The Strand Upper Room, £4/3 The Cherington Poets first came together as a group over twenty years ago as a spin-off from a series of workshops run at the Prema Arts Centre, Uley, by a number of distinguished writers. Since then, they have met regularly for workshops led in rotation by each of the members and, annually, for a weeklong residency. These fine poets have numerous individual publications to their names. Their most recent anthology The Road to Cherington, published in 2008, will be on sale at the reading.

Count Me In! 7pm-9pm, Copa, £7/4

Poetry meets bingo in a thrilling and interactive show about the numbers in our lives. The show takes place during one night in the Bingo Hall. We all play the game and as the numbers are called, Don, Maureen and Judi reveal their true selves – their memories, anniversaries, regrets, mistakes, joys, hopes and dreams. The show includes stories and poems written by members of the public gathered at creative writing workshops. Written and performed by writers Lucy English, Sara-Jane Arbury and Glenn Carmichael. Can we count you in?


FRIDAY 4 TH / SATURDAY 5 TH APRIL Poetry Factory Images From The Museum of Light 8pm-9pm, The Strand Upper Room, £4/3 Poetry Factory are five widely-published and prize-winning poets, all highly individual voices in their own right, who also workshop and perform together. This year, they have collaborated with Creative Photographers in Cheltenham (CPiC) to produce a volume of poems and images called The Museum of Light. Alongside readings from Poetry Factory members Chaucer Cameron, David Clarke, Philip Rush, Anna Saunders and Avril Staple, this event will feature images from The Museum of Light, readings from the book, and a chance to discuss the collaboration process with the poets and photographers.

Violent Gas with Dan Cooper, Danny Ash & Friends

7.30pm-11.00pm, The Frog & Fiddle, £4 Dan Cooper and Danny Ash of the experimental electronica band Brown Torpedo (described by Cheltenham Poetry Festival as ‘like giving Ginsberg a mixing desk’) present an evening of specially prepared short films, rambunctious poetry and adventurous live music, alongside a troupe of hand-picked special guests including The Bluff Chill Account, Gloucester artist and musician Tony Gage and poet Michael Scott.

Brown Torpedo

SATURDAY 5 th APRIL The Worple Press 10.30am-12.00 midday, Copa, £5/4

The Worple Press was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997 and is renowned for publishing both internationally acclaimed writers and emerging voices. We are delighted to include a showcase of Worple poets in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival this year.


SATURDAY 5 TH APRIL Poetry Pairings 12.30pm-1.30pm, Copa, Free

As part of its writers’ development programme CPF offers mentoring opportunities for emerging writers. The Festival matches talented new poets with published writers. In 2013 Angela France worked with Adam Magee and Anna Saunders worked with Louise Crossley. The event offers the chance to hear work by all four writers.

Ready Salted - A Savoury Spoken Word Snack!

Cathy Dreyer

12:30pm-1:30pm, Oxfam, £4/3 Get ready for a tasty poetry snack from four highly regarded and widely published poets. Ready Salted are the nation’s premier bards of snacking and other aspects of life. We are delighted to welcome Cathy Dreyer, Sarah Watkinson, Liz Lefroy and Nichola May to the Festival.

Jenny Lewis: Taking Mesopotamia

2pm-3pm, Oxfam, £6/4 Poet Jenny Lewis’s father fought as a young man in the World War I campaign in Mesopotamia - modern day Iraq, Iran and Syria. He served in Mesopotamia until 1917, when he was wounded at Kut al Amara. He died many years later, shortly after Lewis was born. Through photographs, poetry and witness statements from her latest collection, Taking Mesopotamia, Jenny vividly and movingly links the 20032011 Iraq War to its roots in the World War I campaign and traces her own roots to the father she never knew.

Jenny Lewis

Ross Cogan – Talking Sonnets

3.30pm-4.30pm, Oxfam, £5/4 The author of the acclaimed Stalin’s Desk and The Book I Never Wrote, Festival Director Ross Cogan’s work has been described as ‘tightly crafted, moving and concerned with serious themes’ - The Times. Ross will be sharing his sonnets and reading some classic examples of the form. Ross Cogan

Peter Carpenter


Peter Carpenter and Lesley Ingram

5pm-6pm, Tailors, £5/4 ‘A fine poet of the urban pastoral’ (Matt Merrit) and ‘a masterly portrait-painter’ (Matthew Jarvis), from the brilliant Being in Bed with Philip Larkin and the tour-deforce Footballing T S Eliot, Peter Carpenter’s poems dazzle with wit and insight and move through teaching, politics and recent history. Peter will be reading from his work and talking to Festival Director Anna Saunders about his career. Lesley Ingram will be published by Cinnamon Press next year. Her ekphrastic work is richly imaginative and evocative.

SATURDAY 5 TH APRIL Away with Words - John Gorman & Sue Boardman

5pm-6pm, Oxfam, £7/4 John Gorman is famous for singing with cult Liverpool band The Scaffold, and for his hilarious antics in ITV’s legendary Tiswas (hosted by Chris Tarrant). Now he’s bringing his exuberant poetry / music mash-up to Cheltenham Poetry Festival! This comic, tragic, dramatic, elastic, electrostatic, thermoplastic creative feast includes the World Premiere of The Cheltenham Symphony for Words, Sounds & Music.

Ruth Padel & Cristina Newton

6.30pm-7.30pm, The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, £7/4 Considered by many to be one of our greatest living poets, Ruth Padel works in a wide range of fields - poetry, poetry criticism, wildlife and conservation, and also music. The Mara Crossing, her latest book of poems plus short Ruth Padel prose pieces, on animal and human migration and immigration, was short-listed for the 2012 Ted Hughes Award and has been described as ‘a beautiful, far-ranging book about physical journeys and all they might mean to humans and animals alike’ (Mark Cocker). Cristina Newton’s dazzling poetry coruscates with brilliant imagery and rich language. She is a winner of the Poetry London and Hope Bourne competitions and her third collection, Cry Wolf, is a recipient of a Straid Award 2012.

Little Machine

- the poetry band! Sponsored by Jordans Solicitors 8pm-9pm, The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, £8/4 It’s poetry, but not as you know it! Get ready to put the party into poetry with Little Machine - described as ‘the most brilliant music and poetry band in the world’ by Carol Ann Duffy. Little Machine have appeared with Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough, Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead, John Cooper-Clarke, John Hegley and other poets. Drawing on three thousand years of poetry - Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Blake, Byron, Eliot, Larkin and many more - Little Machine fuse folk and ballads with poetry. The result is music that moves the feet and words that move the soul! Little Machine have been selling out at some UK gigs. Book early to avoid disappointment. 14

SATURDAY 5 TH / SUNDAY 6 TH APRIL Cheltenham Poetry Festival Spoken-Word Smorgasbord plus Open Mic

Ash Dickinson

9.30pm till late, Copa, £8/5 Please join us for a feast of stand-up poetry, comedy and spoken word treats with Ash Dickinson, Luke Archer, Rob Barratt and John Gorman. Globe-trotting slam-star Ash Dickinson is the Axel Rose of poetry, renowned for rocking the joint with his brilliantly surreal performance and killer lines. Luke Archer is a poet and comedian whose works cover a range of topics including sex, homoerotica, metaphysical philosophy, Barnsley and sex. Bawdy bard Rob Barratt is a comedy poet who guarantees you giggles with his beautifully bizarre songs and poems. Tiswas legend John Gorman is famous for his inspired and improvised quick fire wit. The night includes an Open Mic spot for acoustic music and poetry, and is hosted by comedienne and singer Joy-Amy Wigman.

SUNDAY 6 th APRIL Flarestack Poets’ Showcase 11am-12 midday, Tailors, £5/4

Flarestack Poets, run by Meredith Andrea and Jacqui Rowe, has a reputation for publishing strong poetry collections in elegant formats and won the Publishers’ Award at the Michael Marks Pamphlet Awards in 2013. This event showcases Flarestack Poets’ latest pamphlets, with readings from Michael Conley and Richard Moorhead, as well as David Clarke, winner of the 2013 Michael Marks Pamphlet Award.

It Never Gets Dark All Night - Paul Hayward and Olivia Byard

12.30pm-1.45pm, Tailors, £5/4 Poet and author William Hayward was the author of Gloucestershirebased cult novel It Never Gets Dark All Night, first published in 1964 and described as a British cousin of Kerouac’s On The Road. It offers a rich and fascinating picture of British bohemia. William’s son Paul will be reading from the novel as well as a selection of his father’s poetry. Olivia Byard’s From a Benediction (Peterloo Poets) was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 1998. Her second poetry collection, Strange Horses, published October, 2011, was cited by The Daily Telegraph as one of the best new collections in January 2012. Her work has been described as ‘fine-hewn, often funny, sometimes devastating’ and ‘full of sidelong looks at life’ by Chloe Stopa-Hunt.

Oxford Stanza Poets 2

12.30pm-1.30pm, Jamie’s Italian, £4/3 Oxford Stanza 2, founded in 2011, is a group of poets from all kinds of backgrounds. Their number includes prize-winners, bilingual poets and beginners. Last year, Oxford Stanza Poets 2 performed their show Traces, specially written for Cheltenham. This year they return with a new show for 2014.


SUNDAY 6 TH APRIL Pessimism for Beginners with Sophie Hannah & Nic Aubury sponsored by Greenway Hotel and Spa

2pm-3pm, Copa, £6/4 Sophie Hannah has been described as ‘The brightest young star in British poetry’ (Independent)and as ‘a poet of subtlety and sophistication’ by The Daily Telegraph. She is an internationally best-selling author of crime fiction and has published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. She is also very, very funny - this is one not to miss. Nic Aubury’s first pamphlet of poems, Small Talk, was published by Nasty Little Press in December 2011 and Sophie Hannah named it as one of her books of the year in the Sunday Express. ‘Utterly delightful. These poems are perfectly formed and hilariously true’.

Sophie Hannah

Peter Wyton & Robin Gilbert Kick Art!

3.30pm-4.30pm, Copa, £5/4 The History Men return! But this time thinly disguised as artists. The Breakfast Bard and former Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire Peter Wyton and Festival co-Director Robin Gilbert come together to “kick art”. They read their poems, serious and less than serious, sparked by paintings, sculpture, architecture, galleries - in fact, anything that can be squeezed within the definition of the visual arts.

The Dymock Poets sponsored by Jordans Solicitors

5pm-6pm, Copa, £6/4 The Dymock Poets - Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Robert Frost, Wilfred Gibson and Edward Thomas - lived in, or frequently visited, the village of Dymock in the years immediately preceding the First World War and encouraged and influenced the development of each other’s writing. In what promises to be a fascinating talk, Jeff Cooper, Chairman of the Friends of the Dymock Poets and a grandson and bibliographer of Abercrombie, will discuss the members of the group and their work. There will also be readings of a selection of their poems. Robin Gilbert & Peter Wyton

Lascelles Abercrombie

Buzzwords at the Festival 7pm-10pm, The Exmouth Arms, tickets on the door, £5/3 Buzzwords poetry night is renowned for including both strong emerging voices and internationally acclaimed names. The April Buzzwords includes a reading by Carrie Etter. Carrie has been described as an ‘original talent’ and her collection Tethers as ‘one of the most ambitious and accomplished first collections of recent years’. (Times Literary Supplement).


FOR YOUR DIARIES One-to-Ones with Pat Borthwick

Whether you are a beginner or have been writing poems for many years, a one-to-one session with an experienced teacher can significantly help you, through in-depth examination of examples of your own work, to identify specific opportunities for improvement and to develop your writing skills in general. On the early afternoon of Sunday, 30th March and during the day on Monday 31st March, the acclaimed poet and creative writing tutor Pat Borthwick will be offering one-to-one sessions at Tailors (£15 for half an hour, £25 for an hour). To book a session, please contact Pat ( no later than 28th February.

There Is Nothing In The Garden

Wednesday 30th April, 7.30pm, The Tivoli, Andover Road, £3 One of the highlights of the 2013 Festival was this stunning film, combining the talents of poet Chaucer Cameron and film photographer Helen Dewbery. Seize the opportunity to see it again or for the first time, if you were unfortunate enough to miss it last year. Helen and Chaucer will also be showing some new work. Please buy tickets on the door.

T HAN K YOU TO A L L O UR SU PPORT E R S The Directors wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to all those who help to make the Festival a success and especially to our Friends and Patrons, who include Dr R.V.Bailey, David Clarke, Jennie Farley, Gill Garrett, Antonia Gilbert, Henrietta Grimshaw, Chris Hemingway, Lesley Ingram, Michael Newman, Jean Riley, Sheila Spence and Howard Timms - and not least to those who wish to remain anonymous. Details of the Friends and Patrons Scheme may be found at

Please consider becoming a Friend, supporting our valuable work and gaining some great benefits! Thank you to Headline Sponsor Jordan’s Solicitors who have supported the festival since its launch in 2010. The Big Sleep Hotel – always a joy to work with! Our event sponsors and festival sponsors. Everyone who has supported and helped the festival throughout the year. Dan Cooper for his inspired and richly imaginative designs. The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum - for their support of the festival. Thank you to The Greenway Hotel for their generosity and support. Thank you to all our venues including The Muffin Man, Oxfam, The Strand, Francis Close Hall, Tailors, Jamie’s Italian, Copa, The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum and Café Rouge. Thank you to the Oldham Foundation for their support of our outreach work within the community. Thank you to Cheltenham Borough Council for their support of our work within the community, for a third year.





Everyman Theatre Regent Street GL50 1HQ

B Café Rouge 33-41 Promenade GL50 1NW


The Muffin Man 3 Crescent Terrace GL50 3PE


Jamie’s Italian The Former County Court County Court Road GL50 1HB


The Frog & Fiddle 313-315 High Street GL50 3HW


Oxfam Bookshop 31 Cambray Place GL50 1JP


The Wilson - Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Clarence Street GL50 3JT

E Tailors 4 Cambray Place GL50 1JS


The Exmouth Arms 167 Bath Road GL53 7LX


Cheltenham Town Hall Imperial Square GL50 1QA


The Tivoli 34 Andover Road GL50 2TJ


The Strand 40-42 High Street GL50 1EE


Francis Close Hall Chapel GL50 4AZ


Copa 66 Regent Street GL50 1HA

Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2014  
Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2014