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For better or worse, it’s a load of verse
POETRY fanatics all over Swindon are gearing up to welcome award-winning writer Roger McGough to the town’s second poetry festival.
Yesterday organisers launched the four-day festival at the Arts Centre on Devizes Road, with a selection of poetry readings.
The festival will begin on National Poetry Day on October 3 in the Central Library, where visitors can go between 10am and 11am to read out their favourite poems.
Visitors will then be able to make the most of workshops, readings, talks and activities until October 6, when a Festival Finale will take place from 7.30pm at the Arts Centre packed with poems, stories, music and more.
Matt Holland, who lives in Shaw and is one of the main organisers of the event, said: “The Swindon Festival of Poetry is the sister to the Swindon Festival of Literature, but there is some debate about whether it’s the little sister, because as those who have a little sister know only too well little sisters have a habit of becoming big sisters, and the festival of poetry is growing fast.
“Poetry really is something special. Whenever there is a wedding or you’re in love or there’s a birth you always turn to a poem for it.
“Yet poetry is the only job you can’t make a living from. Even the Poet Laureate doesn’t make a living from it. Parents used to be worried if their children wanted to be actors, but these days you can make a pretty good living out of it. Today, parents should be worried if their children say they want to be poets.”
Matt, who has organised the festival along with local poets Michael Scott and Hilda Sheehan, read the poem Digging, written by the late Seamus Heaney.
Among the main attractions for the event will be a vintage bus tour of the town, which sold out last year.
Visitors will be able to see the best of Swindon while cruising along to poetry and historical nuggets before ending up at the Richard Jefferies House and Museum for refreshments and a tour.
There will also be an event which will see poets from all along the M4 corridor park up at The Platform to share poetry from London to Llanelli and everywhere in between.
Michael, 48, from Pinehurst, was also delighted to be part of the second festival.
He said: “It’s going to be absolutely fantastic. We love poetry and we live poetry so it is something that we want to share.
“We want to have fun with it as well and we want to be the beating creative heart of Swindon and unlock it with poetry.”
For more information visit swindonfestivalofpoetry.co.uk or pick up a programme from the Arts Centre.
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