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Wyvern packed for McGough’s reading
CROWDS packed the Wyvern Theatre for one of the highlights of the town’s poetry festival yesterday.
Roger McGough brought his Liverpudlian wit and charm to Swindon in a one-hour show with readings from his new book of poems As Far As I Know.
It capped off a day in which poets from along the M4 corridor flocked to town to take part in the Poetry Festival’s Up the Junctions event.
Poetry fans from all over Swindon and beyond attended the event, which welcomed poets from Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge, Cheltenham and Oxford.
Poets included Natalie Holborrow, Stephen Payne, Rosemary Dun, Carrie Etter, Claire Crowther, and Dikra Ridha among many others.
Hilda Sheehan, a festival organiser, said: “The poetry scene in Swindon has been growing and people are starting to come to Swindon for poetry from all around the country.
“I just felt it would be a great opportunity to plan an event around this fact and welcome back poets who have supported us.
“People don’t realise how big the poetry scene is in Swindon.”
The festival kicked off on National Poetry Day on Thursday with events and activities around the town.
Michael Scott, who joined Hilda and Matt Holland in organising the festival, also attended Up The Junctions.
This showcased different styles and themes of poetry at The Platform, a venue that was chosen specially.
Mr Scott said: “This building has been a very important building in Swindon for a long time.
“Whenever I bring poets to Swindon I always bring them through the Railway Village because it’s not something they expect to see.”
The public will be able to take part in workshops, readings, talks and activities until tomorrow.
A Festival Finale will take place at 7.30pm tomorrow at the Arts Centre packed with poems, stories, music and more.
Among the main attractions at this year’s event is a Vintage Bus Tour of the town, which sold out last year.
This is taking place today from 10am to 12pm starting from the Sun Inn at Coate.
Visitors will be able to see the best of Swindon while listening to poetry and historical nuggets.
The bus tour ends at the Richard Jefferies House and Museum for refreshments and a tour.
Tomorrow visitors to the Arts Centre on Devizes Road will be able to enjoy a play about Lord Byron.
There will also be an afternoon event from John Chambers about the great Rudyard Kipling, who wrote The Jungle Book, Kim and other famous works.
For details people are asked to visit the website: swindonfestivalofpoetry.co. uk.
Programmes are also available from the Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Old Town.
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