Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2018

Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2018

18 – 19 April, venues throughout the town

This year’s Cheltenham Poetry Festival has been sponsored by The University of Gloucestershire and the empowering programme features performances by staff and students.

The Festival, which has been described as ‘ A poetry party with a healthy dose of anarchy’ by the Guardian offers a jam packed programme of readings, performances, cinema, music and socially conscious workshops on the theme of ‘power’.

jacob polley

Jacob Polley

On offer this year is a workshop with poet Peter Raynard called Fight the Power and plus David Punter, Professor of Poetry at the University of Bristol talks about anarchy, capitalism and political poetry.

Highlights of 2018 include BBC Radio 6Music’s Poet in Residence Murray Lachlan Young – ‘A rock ‘n’ roll poet of our time’ (Chrissie Hynde),‘Chap hop’s leading exponent’ (The Wall Street JournalProfessor Elemental, Salford rising star JB Barrington, hip hop artist TrueMendous,  ‘the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Roger McGough’ (Irish TimesVinny Peculiar, internationally acclaimed writer Amir Darwish, ex judo champ turned poet Owen Lowery and TS Eliot Prize winner Jacob Polley.

Roz smiling

Roz Goddar

As ever the Festival welcomes some of the UK’s most important contemporary poets to the Festival. They include Jonathan Davidson, Martyn CrucefixSam Willets, Costa- Prize winner Jonathan Edwards, Rishi Dastidar, Pat Borthwick, Gill McEvoy, Peter Raynard, Tom Sastry, Wayne Holloway Smith,  Cora GreenhillAdam Horovitz, Jane Commane, Chrys Salt, Rachael Allen, Patrick Mackie and Ben Wilkinson to name just a few!

Also on offer are poetry film showcases from Elephants Footprint, a screening of the critically acclaimed film Love Somehow – a poetic re- telling of Caitlin’s Relationship with Dylan Thomas (staring Griff Rhys Jones as the voice of Dylan), Scarestories – a multi-media dystopian vision of the western word featuring poetry from David Clarke.

Students from the University will appear in Bar Room Bars on the opening day of the festival and will compete in the Flash Fiction Slam – an exciting live literature event in which new writers from the University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing Course perform micro fiction in front of a judging panel and the Festival audience.


University of Gloucestershire staff also appear at the festival with a multi media poetry cinema event (April 25th) featuring Angela France’s collection The Hill – a remarkable sequence of poems that leads us up the winding footpaths of Leckhampton Hill near Cheltenham and a reading from Lania Knight from her new novel Remnant – a science fiction novel set in the American Midwest.( April 22).

To read more about all these events please visit


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