Canterbury literary festival

Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy - Credit: Archant

Olympic Poet, Lemn Sissay, and the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, are just two of the major stars featuring at this year’s Wise Words Festival when it opens on 12 September 2014

The annual autumn celebration of the written, spoken and sung word, which takes place across Canterbury from 12th-21st September, also includes stellar poet John Siddique as poet-in-residence, together with a range of writers and poets from the local area.

Artist-in-residence at London’s Southbank Centre, Lemn Sissay features alongside Carol Ann Duffy in what promises to be the most exciting line-up that Wise Words has brought to Canterbury since the festival began in 2012.

“It’s fantastic to be bringing such major names to the city,” enthuses Beth Cuenco, Festival Director, “and really puts Canterbury on the literary map. We are looking forward to having such an array of figures on the literary landscape on our doorstep, and we’ve worked hard to make ticket-prices affordable - people will be able to see them for the same price as a cinema ticket!”

Other names include performance poet, rapper, and the only poet under 40 to win the Ted Hughes Award, Kate Tempest, bringing an exclusive preview of her new work, Hold Your Own, as she returns to the poetry-circuit in the wake of her award-winning collection, Brand New Ancients. An array of local poets and writers will also be appearing, including Canterbury Laureate, Dan Simpson, fresh from his appearance at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Author and Festival Patron, Jane Gardam, will be presenting her latest collection - Jane was one of only two British authors to be shortlisted for the prestigious inaugural Folio Prize.

Family events also lie at the heart of the festival, and there are special performances and workshops for children, including many free events.

“Poets on crates in the streets, battling with words for audience votes; stories unfolding on trips on the river; music, songs and fun for families,” Beth concludes, “there really will be Wise Words for everyone!”

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Wise Words is different from any other festival because it brings the biggest stars and often puts them in smallest and most intimate of venues, giving the audience a once in a lifetime experience.

More details can be found on the Wise Words website www.wisewordsfestival.co.uk, and you can also join in the dialogue on Twitter @wisewordsfest.

The Wise Words Festival is Canterbury’s very own literary festival, taking place across the city annually since its inception in 2012. Previous visitors to the festival have included poet and Radio 3 presenter, Ian McMillan, former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and composer Luke Carver Goss. For further information or enquiries about the Festival, please contact Festival Director, Beth Cuenco on beth@workers-of-art.co.uk or 07540 998872.