Cheltenham Poetry Festival: Celebrating the Power of Poetry

Cheltenham Poetry Festival

Described as ‘a poetry party with a healthy dose of anarchy’ by The Guardian, this year’s festival celebrates the theme of power in its readings, performances and workshops. Highlights include a celebration of the work of UA Fanthorpe, a former teacher at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

Her poems, he writes, combine lean, agile combinations of directness and ambiguity, structure and rule-breaking to suit the tumble-dry emotions of adolescence.

The Festival

The Festival has a long tradition of staging literature events in a variety of venues. Its ten day programme features many internationally renowned artists and also includes emerging and local talent. It also has a strong focus on international themes and writers.

It is one of the most prestigious poetry festivals in England and attracts audiences from all over the country. In addition to the main programme, there is a range of community outreach activities for those who would otherwise be excluded from cultural activity.

The University has been supporting the Festival since 2012 and is delighted to have an ongoing alliance with it. This year lecturers from the University will be involved in talks at the event – including English Lecturer John Hughes talking about Bob Dylan and Head of Creative Writing Nigel Mcloughlin exploring the poetry of WB Yeats. This year the festival will also feature a showcase of writing from the University in an event called Flash.

The International Poetry Competition

The International Poetry Competition is a great way to get your work published and showcased. It is open to writers of all ages and is free to enter. It also provides a unique opportunity to meet other authors and artists. The contest is held annually and features works of all styles. Its submission requirements are detailed on its website.

Poets can submit up to three poems in the contest. Entries are accepted throughout the year, but the deadline is November 30. The winner will receive PS150 and a large, bespoke commemorative plaque. Runners-up will receive PS100 each. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. In addition, the winners will be invited to read at one of the Festival’s popular on-line literary lounges or in person, transport permitting. This is a fantastic opportunity for young poets to have their work recognized and celebrated.

The Book Prize

The Book Prize celebrates the highest standards in literature. The winners are selected by a panel of judges from a long list and announced at the awards ceremony in October. The winner receives a substantial sum of money and has their work instantly transformed in the eyes of readers. The shortlisted authors also experience a major boost in book sales.

The Brooklyn Public Library Book Club Awards honor books that have been chosen by its readers as the best in a category. Each year the Brooklyn Eagles, a group of enthusiastic volunteers, nominate titles, and a panel of experts narrows the list to five finalists. The winners are then awarded at a public ceremony.

The Royal Society Science Book Prize champions outstanding popular science writing and authors. It is open to any author who writes in English for a general adult audience, excluding works published primarily for scientific, professional or specialist audiences. The judges look for books that make science interesting and engaging, challenge assumptions about the world we live in, and communicate complex ideas clearly.

The Young Poets Award

Founded in 1998, this United Kingdom-based prize is the largest young poets competition and has kick-started the careers of many of today’s most exciting new voices. Winners receive the chance to attend a life-changing residential writing course at an Arvon Centre or alternatively receive sustained mentoring from a professional poet.

Interlochen Arts Academy Creative Writing majors Mari Farrand and Noah Ma were among 85 commended poets in this year’s contest, joining the competition’s top 15 winners and other commended poets at the awards ceremony. As commended poets, they join a community of literary ambassadors who will share their love for poetry with communities throughout the world.

As the programmer of this year’s award, Natasha Ryan is a passionate advocate for youth poetry and is committed to ensuring that the Foyle Young Poets of the Year award has global reach. This includes the support of a dedicated team of educators who deliver the education programme and slam events.

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