University partners with Winchester Poetry Festival

3 Aug 2018
Photo of Winchester Poetry Festival programmes 2018

The University of Winchester and Winchester Poetry Festival have agreed a five-year partnership to strengthen the cultural life of the city and encourage more participation from young people.

Established in 2013, the Winchester Poetry Festival is now a highly-regarded feature of the city's cultural life. In addition to its major biennial festival, for which it is best known, the Poetry Festival also runs an annual poetry competition and a series of educational and literary events throughout the year.

This year's Poetry Festival will take place on 5-7 October and will feature poets from across the UK and Ireland and from as far afield as Syria, Macedonia, the United States and the Caribbean.

The agreement between the University and the Festival includes opportunities for students to participate in work placements and to gain special access behind the scenes at Festival events, as well as free entry to the annual poetry competition and cooperation in teaching and research activities.

The University of Winchester will also be hosting a special celebratory event on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4 October, as part of the Poetry Festival's Young Wordsmiths project - an educational programme which mentors talented local sixth-form students in the art of verse.

"It's marvellous to be working with this vibrant poetry festival," said University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joy Carter DL CBE. "We're well-known for the quality and popularity of our programmes in Creative Writing and English, and this will add exciting extra value to our students' experience in those areas."

"We're delighted to have entered into this collaboration with the University," said Stephen Boyce, Chair of the Winchester Poetry Festival. "We've been working together for the last few years, and it's great to be able to cement our productive relationship in a long-term partnership."

The University of Winchester has also recently signed five-year agreements with Theatre Royal Winchester, the Hat Fair, Blue Apple Theatre, Winchester Film Festival and The Point, Eastleigh.

"It's brilliant to welcome the Winchester Poetry Festival to our growing family of cultural partners," said Professor Alec Charles, Dean of the University's Faculty of Arts. "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to take part in a series of wonderful literary events in the heart of Winchester."

Thumbnail photo of Inua Ellams at the Winchester Poetry Festival 2016 courtesy of Joe Low.

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