University Joins Forces with Cheltenham Poetry Festival

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival is offering an extensive programme of arts events this year thanks to backing from the University of Gloucestershire.

The festival, which was described as ‘a triumph’ by acclaimed Gloucestershire-based poet Alison Brackenbury when it was launched in 2011, will be offering an expansive programme thanks to support from the University. The festival is also running an event called New Voices which will showcase some of the talented young writers studying for a BA in Creative Writing.

Festival director Anna Saunders said: “We are very grateful to The University of Gloucestershire for supporting the festival a second year and making it possible for us to bring internationally acclaimed artists to the town as well as offering a stage for new and emerging local poets. For a second year we will be running events in the historical and ambient setting of Francis Close Hall Chapel and delighted that they will be attended by teaching staff and students.”

The festival, which runs from April 20 – 28, was founded by poet Anna Saunders, who has been running poetry events in the area for many years and who is also student at the University. This year the festival offers visitors the chance to hear world class poets reading in intimate venues, sample exciting new fusion events blending poetry with visual arts and music, and enjoy workshops, film showings and even animation.

Maxine Melling, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations) at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “The University’s close links with the Poetry Festival make perfect sense in relation to our academic programmes and our work with the local community. The University is delighted to be working with the Poetry Festival again and to be supporting such a wide range of events for a second year.”

Highlights of this year’s festival include readings by internationally acclaimed poets including Fiona Sampson, showcases by prestigious publishing houses such as Carcanet, and The Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam. The festival also features the preview of Newspaper Taxi, an event dedicated to the new book of poetry edited by Liverpudlian poet Phil Bowen, which includes poems dedicated to the Beatles written by poets including Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage. This event will also include cover versions of Beatles hits.

Bob Dylan in Words and Music features music and poetry from the book Captain’s Tower in which poets answer back in a response to Dylan’s creativity, capacity to inspire and his enormous influence on culture and writing. There will also be an Ivor Gurney event featuring a new film about the poet plus readings from works inspired by Gurney penned by Cheltenham Poetry Society.

For more information about the festival please visit Tickets can be purchased from Cheltenham Town Hall 0844 576 2210.

About the University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses. For more information visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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