A first for Ledbury Poetry Festival as Out Loud! children's weekend is launched (From Hereford Times)
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A first for Ledbury Poetry Festival as Out Loud! children's weekend is launched
12:00pm Thursday 7th June 2012 in Ledbury
FOR the first time anywhere in the UK, a weekend festival dedicated to children’s poetry will be launched by Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Out Loud! from July 6 to 8 has its own venue in the Baptist Church hall which will be decorated with flags made in a garden-inspired workshop on the Saturday morning – How Will Your Garden Grow? Festival director Chloe Garner said: “The emphasis of this unique festival event is on making your own poems. And practically every poet who’s coming is also giving a workshop.”
The Saturday also features Puddings and Poems, an event that not only celebrates sweetinspired poems but also offers a choice of three different puddings to accompany the versifying.
One of the exciting events complemented by a workshop is The Coat of Umpteen Pockets, presented by Wonderful Beast, and inspired by Adrian Mitchell’s book, Umpteen Pockets. Each of the two actors – one of them Adrian’s daughter, Sasha – has a magical coat with ‘umpteen pockets’ out of which poems and songs appear to make children laugh, listen and sing. The workshop will encourage children to have fun with words and to create and perform their own poems.
Friday features Jamaican born Val Bloom, first in a workshop day for year five and six students, with Chrissie Gittins and Andrew Fusek Peters. All three will later present the Out Loud! launch event, an hour of zingy performances with lots of action and wild and wonderful flights of fancy.
“Val Bloom’s Caribbean rhythms, words and atmosphere make her performance one of the most exuberant I have ever seen,” says Chloe.
Sunday offers an invitation to drop in any time from 11am to 4pm to help create an animated poem using the magic of stop motion animation and the opportunity to create your very own Balloonhead with Sara-Jane Arbury who will guide you through the art and craft of making a colourful poetic creation. Or go on an adventurous quest to help solve the mystery of how the seasons have got stuck, or join in an Olympic singathon.
“We’re very excited about Out Loud! and hope that it’s something that will grow and grow,” says Chloe. “We’ve got big plans for making it a distinctive festival for children.
Song is an important element of the festival, as some poems are wonderful songs, too.”
With the children poetically catered for, there’s an equally exciting menu on offer to adult poetry lovers.
Among the highlights of the week-long festival are two ‘desert island poems’ events from much-loved star of stage and screen Juliet Stevenson and major literary figure Margaret Drabble.
Presenting his debut collection Absence Has a Weight of its Own is Daniel Sluman, discovered at a Ledbury Poetry Festival open mic session by Nine Arches Press. He’ll be joined by Ledbury Poetry Competition 2011 winner C J Allen with his new collection, At the Oblivion Tea Rooms. If you’re already a poetry fan, you won’t need urging to browse the brochure and pick out your favourites, but if you’re undecided or haven’t read a poem since school, why not try one of the festival’s 20 Minutes With ... events, which are free and will provide the perfect introduction to the world of verse. There are also film poems, performance poetry, a poetic portrait of a 17th century witch hunt and more.
To see the full programme go to poetry-festival.com. To book, call the box office 0845 4581743