Inspire Poetry Festival 2021: Saturday 18 - Saturday 25 September

Published 9th September 2021

Poetry Festival 2021 - guests.png

Inspire Poetry Festival is back! With poetry superstars, exciting new voices and fan favourites, the week-long festival will bring inspiring poetry to venues across Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Suitable for poetry devotees, newbies, and everyone in between, the week will be jam-packed with readings, workshops, exhibitions and special events. Whether you’re already an expert in haikus and sonnets or are just beginning to dip your toe into rhyming couplets, the festival is a chance to learn, explore and enjoy the beauty of poetry.


Following the success we’ve had over the past 12 months with our online poetry readings, this year’s festival will take place both in person and online, helping us reach as many poetry lovers as possible.


The week will offer:

Our two headline stars are both talented musicians as well as poets, and have three T.S. Eliot prizes between them: Edinburgh-based Don Paterson will travel southwards to Southwell Library, where many poetry lovers will remember his last hugely popular visit over a decade ago, while Roger Robinson will beam in live to an audience at West Bridgford Library and online via Zoom.

Local favourite Leanne Moden leads a daily online hour of creativity to help hone your poetry practice – drop in or stay for the week - and Jonathan Davidson hosts an online workshop about poetry out loud, sharing insights into listening and speaking for greater enjoyment and understanding.

A live showcase by Paper Crane Poets at Beeston Library brings you the best of this thriving poetry community, and we celebrate the launch of Coal in the Blood, a new anthology of poetry and anecdotes about the East Midland’s coal mining heritage, with an afternoon of readings and music at Mansfield Central Library.

We launch a touring exhibition celebrating our fascinating Poetry Place workshops, led by and including new poems from Sue Dymoke, and continue the tour of our wonderful Voices exhibition.

The annual Poetry Takeover has a ‘Lost Words’ theme celebrating dialects – so be prepared to throw your very best local and regional words into our butterfly nets ready for the brilliant Andrew Graves to make them into a special Nottinghamshire poem.

We’re also taking this opportunity to remind you about the full range of online poetry readings and interviews we’ve amassed since March last year, including a month’s worth of daily poems by Henry Normal, who has also hosted a series of brilliant online chats and readings with Nottinghamshire’s finest poets - all online and available to watch at your leisure.


This year’s full festival programme is available online

, and contains further information on dates, times and bookings. 

< Back to all news