It is going to be an exciting year with a diverse range of poets and types of event.
Artistic Director, Chloe Garners says: “The 2015 Ledbury Poetry Festival programme is starting to come together. It is going to be an exciting year, with a strong international feel and a diverse range of poets and types of event. This is what Ledbury is renowned for – imaginative and innovative programming that constantly challenges our thinking about what poetry is and what it can do. What does that means for anyone thinking about booking tickets? It means there truly is something for everyone!”
The Festival will hold a programme launch event on Tuesday 19 May, with a reading by leading Belfast poet Michael Longley, alongside Frank Ormsby. Michael Longley is a towering figure in Irish poetry and one of the world’s greats. He has won the top literary prizes, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, the Wilfred Owen Medal, the Whitbread Prize, and the TS Eliot Prize. The 75-year-old received a CBE from the Queen in 2010.
John Burnside is the Festival poet in residence. The Festival will also welcome Simon Armitage, Pam Ayres, Sophie Hannah, Jane Yeh, John Cooper Clarke, Denise Riley, Imtiaz Dharker, Nic Aubury, Don Paterson, Steve Ely, Eleanor Rees and Paul Henry. Dr. Rowan Williams will appear in conversation with Marina Warner on Poetry and Belief. James Booth will talk about Philip Larkin.
As always the Festival will host Foyle Young Poets and Eric Gregory Award Winners, plus winners of the National Poetry Competition and our own Ledbury Poetry Competition winner, the young Welsh poet Jonathan Edwards, in an event hosted by Ian McMillan. Juliet Stevenson will read Emily Dickinson poems, with Mark Fisher giving the context. The Festival aims to present American poets including Thomas Lux and Larry Beckett. There is much more planned and in the pipeline.
Lebury Poetry Festival is much loved by poets – ‘a rare and genuine joining of place, poetry and people’ according to Carol Ann Duffy.
‘The programming is skilful and highly adventurous...I have seldom come across a poetry audience with such attentiveness, warmth and intelligence.’ (Poet, David Morley)
Box office 0845 458 1743 (Box Office opens on Thursday 14 May for Friends and Saturday 16 May for everyone).