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Nottingham Poetry Festival returns to UNESCO City of Literature

John Cooper Clarke

The Nottingham Poetry Festival, planned by Notts TV, Nottingham born poet Henry Normal and Hockley Hustle Director, Tommy Rosley returns from 21st April – to 30th April.

Building on the success of the first Nottingham Poetry Festival in Autumn 2015, and on behalf of the Nottingham poetry community, Nottingham Poetry Festival presents a diverse programme of over 50 events spanning 10 days combining some of the most renowned poets in the country with Nottingham’s poetic voices, showcasing Nottingham’s lyrical literary scene at its best.

The stellar line-up includes national names in Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope OBE, Simon Armitage, John Cooper Clarke and John Hegley together with many local poets including John Lucas, Andrew “Mulletproof” Graves, Panya Banjoko and Gregory Woods.

Nottingham-born Henry Normal, co-writer of the Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show, Paul Calf, Coogan’s Run and The Parole Officer is helping organise the festival.

Henry himself returns to his first love poetry after 20 years producing TV and films such as Alan Partridge, Gavin and Stacey and the Oscar nominated Philomena.

Henry comments: ‘This festival is very much a local arts movement and exists only with the goodwill, enthusiasm and active participation of local poets, organisers and audiences. We’d like to thank everyone involved in its preparation, and everyone who has supported the festival so far. With luck, planning and enough appetite, Nottingham – now proudly a UNESCO City of Literature – will be able to present and develop an annual Poetry Festival for many years to come. Please come along and enjoy what will be a fantastic festival.”

Matt Turpin of UNESCO, Nottingham City of Literature comments: “Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature is delighted to have Nottingham Poetry Festival return to the city. Poetry has never been so vital, so diverse, so life-affirming in Nottingham than right now. It’s therefore an excellent time to mark this with a festival that not only celebrates our own local gems, but brings in the best names in poetry from all corners of the UK, and celebrate our world-class way with words”.

Craig Chettle Executive Director Notts TV comments: “I am excited to be working again with Henry in bringing some incredible talent to Nottingham. The festival will enhance the city’s cultural offering and is already becoming a highly anticipated event”.

The Poets:

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE FRSL is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009

Wendy Cope’s poetry is perhaps best known for its humour and wit Critically acclaimed and publicly adored, Wendy Cope OBE is one of world poetry’s most revered figures. She was awarded an OBE in 2010.

Simon Armitage is described as the modern, accessible and unstuffy face of poetry.  Simon Armitage CBE’s writing combines slang and immediacy with a sardonic wit. A master of wordplay with a keen ear for dialogue and a nose for memorable expressions

The ‘people’s poet’, John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s. His career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents and, still top of the game, today he’s as relevant and refreshing as ever. Aside from his trademark ‘look’ continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry included on national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music and pop culture is huge.

One of the UK’s most innovative comic poets, John Hegley’s first paid performance were busking his songs in Hull in the late 1970s. He performed on the streets of London in the early 1980s, fronting the Popticians, with whom he recorded two John Peel sessions. A frequent performer of both the spoken and sung word, he’s also a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Described as “the funniest man you’ve never heard of “by The Telegraph, Henry Normal set up Baby Cow Productions with Steve Coogan in 1999 and has spent his time since creating some of Britain’s most loved TV. He has 7 collections of poetry published, has toured with the band Pulp and performed in the film ‘Glastonbury.’

The Henry Normal Beer Launch & Festival Preview – 3rd April – 7pm  – The Vat & Fiddle

Festival Sponsors Castle Rock have honoured Festival Organiser, Henry Normal, with the brewing of a namesake beer ‘Henry Normal’.  The 4.2 per cent golden mild ale, the second in the Nottinghamian Celebration series for 2017, is being brewed on UNESCO World Poetry Day (21 March).  It will be in prime condition for its launch at the Vat and Fiddle pub on 3rd April and across the city in time for the Poetry Festival. Come and join Henry and friends for an evening of comedy and poetry at the launch of the Henry Normal beer, and festival preview.

Posted on 22 March 2017

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