Juliet Stevenson to appear at Ledbury Poetry Festival

Juliet Stevenson to appear at Ledbury Poetry Festival

Ledbury Poetry Festival will present a “truly dazzling” programme of events including appearances from actors Juliet Stevenson and Ann Mitchell, to celebrate its 21st year.

The festival, which takes place from 30th June to 9th July 2017, will also see entrepreneur and pottery designer Emma Bridgewater as well as poets including 2016 Forward Przie winner Vahni Capildeo, Denise Riley, John Hegley, Inua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi and the festival’s 2017 Poet in Residence Fiona Sampson, "share their love of poetry" in the “picturesque and historic market town” of Ledbury.

The festival will feature a number of outdoor events for all ages including Outdoor Magic, a largescale community project, and a series of multilinguial poetry performances titled Seven Airs.

The festival will host its first 'Translation Slam' in collaboration with poet Sasha Dugdale and Modern Poetry in Translation. For the third year, Versopolis will celebrate the best emerging European poets.

Chloe Garner, Ledbury Poetry Festival’s artistic director, said: “Twenty-one years of Ledbury Poetry Festival is an amazing achievement and we want to ensure that nobody misses out – so the Festival will take to the streets on a scale never seen before. Every year we bring together world class poets to before, teach and talk about poetry. Poetry is taken off the page using music, art, theatre, film and dance. If you think you know what poetry is, come to Ledbury and let Ledbury Poetry Festival surprise you."

Tickets for events will go on sale on 20th May 2017.

The festival's international poetry competition is now open for entries, with the £1,000 prize to be judged by poet Fiona Sampson MBE.

Sampson has published 27 books and has twice been shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. Her latest books, Limestone Country (Little Toller), will be published in May.

Sampson said: “Entering the competition is a way to take part in the wonderful Ledbury Poetry Festival whether or not you can get along to any of the events. Poetry is a great way to communicate with people you've never met: I look forward to discovering many new poets I've never come across before.”

The competition is open to all entries of original, previously unpublished work across categories for adults, young people (12 to17 years) and also children (11 and under).