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Poets give UK Poetry Festival an Olympic Theme (1st March 2012)

Dozens of poets will be reciting, cart-wheeling, drinking tea and busking in the streets as a UK town celebrates the country’s creativity and variety with the Wenlock Poetry Festival 2012.

The Festival, which takes place from April 13 to 15 in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, is a mix of poetry readings, performances and workshops which will entertain visitors of all ages as they tour the “quintessentially English town”.

And, as Much Wenlock is the birthplace of the modern Olympic games, the festival will host a special event to mark the London 2012 games.

The Bridgnorth Writers Group will be welcoming visitors to ‘Olympic Poems’, readings with an apposite theme by Dave Bingham, Keith Chandler and Nadia Kingsley, at the Priorslee Hall at 3pm on April 13th.

Lorna Taylor, of the festival committee, said: “We are very pleased to welcome this talented group to the Wenlock Poetry Festival with their Olympic-themed readings.

“We wanted to mark the fact that Much Wenlock is where the modern Olympic games first began and to have a local group giving the festival an Olympic feel is even better.”

Now in its third year, the 2012 event also features special treats, including Jackie Kay, Nick Drake and Lavinia Greenlaw, who will perform together at 7.30pm at The Edge Arts Centre on April 13.

Many of the events will take place at the arts centre with the Sarah Gillespie Quartet and ‘Music Makes Poetry’ at 9pm on Friday, David Whyte at 4pm on the Saturday followed by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy reading from her latest work Bees at 7.30pm, her first new collection since accepting the laureateship.

Lorna added: “Her poems are described by Liz Lochhead as witty, nakedly honest and mysterious. Carol Ann will share the stage with Adam Horowitz, whose debut collection Turning was released in 2011.

“Joining them is Ann Gray, whose poems are moving and wryly humorous. Ann is known to last year’s festival goers as the one who made us cry the most!”

And it is not only in the arts centre that poetry will be taking hold, the Wirral Alliance of Poets will be busking in the streets, while the cart-wheeling, bingo-playing, edible poem maker Sally Crabtree will be wowing the crowds.

Also on hand will be Emergency Poet Deb Alma, whose vintage ambulance is equipped for a mobile first-aid service for poetry and Pauline Prior-Pitt who will host ‘reading, tea and scones’.

And poetry, workshops and readings with and for children will be held throughout the weekend. They include Mandy Ross with children’s reading at 10am on Saturday April 14, Chrissie Gittins Leaping Poems for seven to 11-year-olds at noon and a children’s workshop with Mandy Ross at 1.30pm at the Much Wenlock Library.

To see all of the activities and events taking place visit  or email for more information.

WPF Box Office is open to public from March 1 to April  11 and can be contacted on  07969253221.   Tickets for events are also held at The Edge Arts Centre in Wenlock on (01952) 728911.