Following the success of last year’s event, the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and University of Gloucestershire are joining forces for a bigger and better celebration of the written word this year.

The festival, which was described as ‘a triumph’ by acclaimed Gloucestershire-based poet Alison Brackenbury when it was launched in 2011, will be offering a even more expansive programme thanks to support from the University.

“The University of Gloucestershire has made it possible for the festival to offer a richer programme, as well as free events”, said Festival Director Anna Saunders.

“The University is keen to support us in our work to bring internationally acclaimed artists to the town as well as offering a stage for new and emerging local poets. We will be running events in the historical and ambient setting of Francis Close Hall Chapel and are delighted that they will be attended by teaching staff and students.”

The festival, which runs from Wednesday April 18 to Sunday April 22, was founded by poet Anna Saunders, who has been running poetry events in the area for many years.
Jill Stuart, Head of Marketing and Communications, added: “With over 95 performers in five days including a poetry slam, workshops, film shows and guerrilla poetry events this is one of the best ways to experience poetry.”
Three events will be taking place at the University’s Francis Close Hall Chapel. Acclaimed poet Penelope Shuttle will be joining fellow poet and editor of poetry journal Iota, Angela France, on Friday April 20 from 6.30pm until 7.30pm. This will be followed at 8.30pm by Whistle, a multi-media depiction of a post-war British childhood by Martin Figura.
The following evening the Carcanet Press Poets, featuring the three unique poetic voices PJ Kavanagh, Alison Brackenbury and Dan Burt will be taking the stage with a selection of works from 6.30pm until 8pm.
This year’s line-up also includes hip-hop star Dizraeli, Cheltenham Comedy Festival headliner Monkey Poet, acclaimed poet Luke Kennard, slam-champs Ash Dickinson and Jack Dean and the graphic comic show Under Stokes Croft. Also appearing are a showcase of poets from Worcester Literary Festival, a four team slam, prize winning poet Cliff Yates, Helen Ivory, Helen Mort, James Bunting, ‘The Brewery Bard’ Barnaby Eaton-Jones and Bobby Parker. The festival also features free readings and children’s poetry workshops.

For more information about the festival please visit

Tickets can be purchased from Cheltenham Town Hall or 0844 576 2210.

Source: University of Gloucestershire