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Ledbury Poetry Festival returns for 2018 | 17-Jan-18

Ledbury Poetry Festival, the UK's biggest poetry festival returns to the historic market town of Ledbury from 29 June to 8 July 2018. This year's festival will welcome a host of poets and poetry lovers with confirmed names so far including: Jackie Kay, Hollie McNish, Wendy Cope, Owen Sheers, Sinead Morrissey, Liz Berry and Jane Commane. The 2018 Festival Poet in Residence is Zaffar Kunial; his debut collection Us is published by Faber in July & he will curate individual events.

The festival will have a strong international focus including an event with US poet Major Jackson and an event with German poet Jan Wagner. Unshaken by Brexit, Versopolis, the innovative platform for emerging European poets will return and continue for a further four years, backed by funding from the EU Creative Europe Programme. Versopolis poets from across Europe will join three UK poets for a highlight event, before performing at other festivals across the continent. The UK 2018 Versopolis poets are Sasha Dugdale, Sandeep Parmar and Welsh language poet Mererid Hopwood.

Refugee Tales will present an event including Patrick Gale, whilst poet Paul Henry and singer- songwriter Brian Briggs (Stornoway) will perform their new poetry and musical collaboration The Glass Aisle.

Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 will celebrate and showcase the poets connected with its programmes for new writers including: readings from the shortlist and winner of the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize for second collections with Sandeep Parmar, Judy Brown, Emma Hammond, Sam Riviere, John Clegg and John McCullough plus a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics event, examining the representation of BAME writers in poetry reviewing and critical culture championed by Sandeep Parmar and Sarah Howe. Mental health will be a key theme of community events, which also include a Gregorian chant workshop on poet  Fortunatus and a large outdoor community art project, inspired by poetry.

The full Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 line-up will be announced in May, when Ledbury Poetry Festival goes on sale, with further announcements to follow.

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