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New Plymouth Poetry Festival opens poetry up to wider audience  

From the 24th-29th of April 2024, Plymouth Poetry Festival will take over a variety of arts venues across Plymouth, programming events and workshops to celebrate the diversity of poetry in the city. From Barbican Theatre and Minerva Café to the Bread and Roses, Mutley’s Green Space and Plymouth Proprietary Library in Stoke, the festival is placing a focus on artists with local links, such as Dartington poet-in-residence Ella Frears, Plymouth Laureate of Words Rosemarie Corlette, and Exeter stand-up poetry champions Chris White and Edward Tripp.

The weekend will be the largest celebration of poetry that the city has seen in many years, and the organisers hope that it will serve as a springboard to keep the festival running on an annual basis.

The programme so far includes:

  • Queer Out Loud on Wednesday night at Minerva Café and Clothing
  • Literature Works workshop on Zoom, exploring publishing, the poetry industry, and more
  • POETRY@thePPL ft. Ella Frears on Thursday night at Plymouth Proprietary Library 
  • WonderZoo on Thursday night at Green Space 
  • A Bad Sex Writing workshop with Laura Horton on Friday evening at the Barbican Theatre
  • Spork! It’s Alright Actually, This Poetry ft. Aish Humphries later on Friday evening at the Barbican Theatre
  • A writing workshop with Rosemarie Corlett on Saturday at Plymouth Central Library
  • An afternoon of new book launches with Jawbone Publishing on Saturday at Café Momus
  • The Pyres spoken word night for people of marginalised genders on Saturday night (venue tbc)
  • An open mic on Saturday night at Arts University Plymouth
  • Poetry workshops with Jason Butler, Harula Ladd and Jon Nash on Sunday during the day at Oxford Hub
  • A poetry and art installation on Sunday at RAAY Gallery (Royal Adelaide Art and Yoga), along with a poetry bookshop throughout the festival hosted by published poet Matt Thomas
  • An open mic on Sunday night at the Bread and Roses
  • An open mic on Monday night at The Providence Inn

A full list of events, alongside confirmed timings, is publicised on the Plymouth Poetry Festival Facebook and Instagram pages, and events are being published on a mix of Facebook, Eventbrite and organiser websites, along with an entire round up on the PPF Website. The weekend will be the largest celebration of poetry that the city has seen in many years, and the organisers hope that it will serve as a springboard to keep the festival running on an annual basis.

Local organisers Mimi Jones, Poppy-Jayne-Jones and Jonah Corren received funding for the festival through local collective Plymouth Octopus Project’s ‘POP Collective’ programme, which rewards grants based on the feedback and ratings of other local arts organisations. POP receives the majority of its money from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. 

‘This year, we are focused on opening up our incredible poetry scene to a wider audience’ said Corren about the thought process behind the event. ‘When Mimi approached Poppy and I about running a poetry festival in Plymouth, they were incredibly passionate about the events themselves being community-led, and the three of us taking a wider organisational role. We’ve tried to give as many local nights as possible to opportunity to take part.’ 

‘We also are all running our own individual events as part of the festival’ continued Corren, ‘Mimi is running a special edition of their event ‘Queer Out Loud’ on the Wednesday at Minerva Café & Clothing, I’m running my night at at Plymouth Proprietary Library on Thursday with Ella Frears, and Poppy is hosting a ‘Pyre Events’ night on Saturday. So we all get our own little celebrations too.’

Ticket prices and venue information will be signposted from the Plymouth Poetry Festival Facebook page


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