Birmingham to host its first poetry festival

Birmingham to host its first poetry festival

Waterstones Birmingham will next month host the city’s first festival of poetry and spoken word.

The ‘Verve’ event will take place during 16th-19th February and feature poets such as the 2016 Costa Book Prize shortlisted Melissa Lee-Houghton, PBS New Generation poet Daljit Nagra and Mona Arshi, winner of the 2015 Forward prize for Best first collection. There will also be spoken word masterclasses, poetry slams and children’s poetry an storytelling events.

Stuart Bartholomew, manager of Waterstones Birmingham and programmer of the event, said: “I want Verve to reflect Birmingham itself: Urban, confident, diverse and full of energy. Verve's programme represents the very best poetry currently being performed and written in the UK. We're incredibly excited about it and want as many people as possible to enjoy it.”

The children’s strand of the festival was programmed by Emma Wright, founder of The Emma Press.

Waterstones is selling festival passes for at £35/£25 or tickets for individual events priced between £4-£6. Workshops cost between £15-£10.