Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival

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Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival


LYRA, Bristol Poetry Festival, is returning to the city in March 2020 for the second edition of this new annual festival.

After last year's roaring success, 2020 promises to be a an even bigger festival featuring an array of local, national and international poets, performing in venues around the city.

The 2020 programme’s themes are climate, nature and Bristol’s place at the forefront of the Romantic Poetry movement. Headlining the 10-day festival are UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and Forward Prize-winning internet sensation from the US, Danez Smith.

The brilliant line up also features Zena Edwards, Luke Kennard, Carrie Etter, Harry Baker, plus Bristol-based Edson Burton and TJ Dema. To encourage as wide an audience as possible, some events are free and the organisers state that the festival is 100% wheelchair accessible.

Festival Pass £50.00
Festival Pass (Including Workshops) £65.00

Lyra’s 2020 Festival Poet is Bristol-based writer and performer Rebecca Tantony, who will be engaged in outreach work around the city and performing brand new work during the festival alongside musician, Brook Tate.

Festival organisers have raised over £1,700 for their GoFundMe campaign to support some of the running costs of the festival. The crowdfunding target is £2,000 and donations are still very welcome.

Programme highlights:

Friday 13 March 2020
Simon Armitage
Wills Memorial Building (Great Hall), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
The grand opening event of Lyra, Bristol Poetry Festival, 2020 will feature a live reading and discussion with the UK's newly appointed Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Bristol Poetry Festival Slam Final
Arnolfini (Theatre), 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
After a raucous sell-out event last year, the Bristol Poetry Festival annual slam is back as winners from the afternoon show compete for the coveted crown of 2020's champion.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Danez Smith
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Activity room, First Floor), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL
Join one of the world's leading poets and Forward Prize winner Danez Smith for an eye-opening insight into expert writing techniques.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Poetry and Climate

Arnolfini (Theatre), 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
Short poetry films which reflect on the current climate emergency as well as celebrate the natural world.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Romantic Bristol Walking Tour
Wills Memorial Building (Outside), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
Discover Bristol's poetic legacy in this engaging guided walk, led by Professor Ralph Pite.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Bristol Poetry Festival Slam Qualifiers

Arnolfini (Light Studio), 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
Three afternoon qualifying heats as 24 poets comepete for ap lace in the evening Grand Final.

Saturday 14 March 2020
Prose Poetry: Performance + Open Mic

Wills Memorial Building (The Old Council Chamber), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
A fascinating exploration into one of the most experimental sub-genres of poetry, with exquisite performances from leading prose poets.

Sunday 15 March 2020
Romantic Bristol Tour: Coleridge & Wordsworth

Wills Memorial Building (Outside), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
An engaging guided walk, discovering the legacy of two legendary poets of the Romantic era. Led by Professor Ralph Pite.

Sunday 15 March 2020
Poets 4 The Planet

Storysmith Bookshop, 49 North St, Bristol BS3 1EN
A collaborative performance as 6 poets perform dynamic new work responding to the climate crisis in the intimate setting of Storysmith bookshop.

Sunday 15 March 2020
Reimagined Futures: Poetry & Stories for families

Brunel's SS Great Britain, Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY
An afternoon of interactive, drop-in family activities at the Brunel Institute, aimed at children and young people aged 4-12 and their families. 

Monday 16 March 2020
Poetry and Music for Climate Action

St. George's Bristol, Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RR
Leading South-West poetry providers Raise the Bar and Hip Yak Poetry present an evening of breathtaking performances live at St. George’s Bristol.

Monday 16 March 2020
Maths and Poetry Workshop

Fry Building (Room G13), Bristol BS8 1TH
Join poets Rebecca Kosick and Harry Baker for an engaging and interactive workshop connecting maths and poetry. Accessible and open to all.

Tuesday 17 March 2020
The Future of Poetry: Discussion Panel

The Square Club, 15 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1HB
A crucial discussion focusing on how poetry is being used in 2020 and how the art form might progress over the next decade.

Friday 20 March 2020
Stephen Sexton + Bad Betty Press

Waterstones, The Galleries, Bristol BS1 3XD
An evening of poetry readings from radical UK voices, including Penguin published writer and winner of the 2019 Forward Prize.

Friday 20 March 2020
Lyra Festival Open Mic

Unitarian Hall, Brunswick Square, Bristol BS2 8PE
The official open mic event of 2020’s Bristol Poetry Festival, with Satellite of Love, and YOUR chance to bring your poetry to the stage.

Saturday 21 March 2020
Romantic Bristol Walking Tour: Women Writers

Wills Memorial Building (Outside), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
An engaging guided walk, focusing on the female writers of Bristol’s Romantic poetry legacy. Led by Dr Rebecca Hutcheon.

Saturday 21 March 2020
Stage to Page: Writing Workshop with Amy Acre
Bristol Central Library (Public Meeting Room)
Award-winning writer and poetry editor Amy Acre leads a writing workshop on moving your work from the stage to the page.

Saturday 21 March 2020
Rebecca Tantony: Festival Poet Performance
Leading South West poet, and Lyra Festival Poet 2020, Rebecca Tantony, performs works of new and old, accompanied by musician Brook Tate.

Saturday 21 March 2020
Overcoming Challenges Workshop with Rebecca Tantony
Lyra 2020's Festival Poet Rebecca Tantony leads a workshop helping us to overcome challenges as writers. Open to writers of all experiences and stages.

Sunday 22 March 2020
Habitat: An eco-poetry workshop with TJ Dema

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Activity Room, First Floor)
TJ Dema, recent winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry, leads an engaging eco-poetry masterclass open to all writers.

Sunday 22 March 2020
Romantic Poetry and Race/Class/Gender
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Enlightenment Gallery)
Edson Burton, Anna Saunders and Charles Thompson explore the attitudes, issues and prejudices within the works of acclaimed Romantic Poets.

Sunday 22 March 2020
Romantic Bristol Walking Tour

Meeting Point: Outside Wills Memorial Building
Discover Bristol’s poetic legacy in this engaging guided walk, led by Dr Rebecca Hutcheon.

Read full programme here


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