Jackie Kay MBE FRSE, National Poet for Scotland, headlined at this year's festival.

Nottingham’s Poetry Festival is back for its third year this April, with more than 70 events being held across the city.

The previous two festivals were hugely successful according to the organisers and a way of bringing people together to celebrate this spoken art form.

The star-studied line-up this year includes a flavour of both local and national artists including Roger McGough CBE, Jackie Kay MBE FRSE and Nottingham-born Henry Normal.

Tommy Farmyard, 33, co-organiser, said: “This year’s going to be fantastic, it’s just once again representing Nottingham’s amazing poetry scene…Come and be surprised. Come and be amazed at what Notts has got to offer.”

Henry Normal, poet and one of the festival organisers, opens the festival with his welcome event.

Audio: Poets Martin Grey, Leanne Moden, Henry Normal and Georgina Wilding read their work at this year’s festival.

Opening the festival saw co-organiser and poet Henry Normal and five other poets, including Nottingham’s first Young Poet Laureate, Georgina Wilding, share some of their own work.

The 61-year-old, originally from St Ann’s said: “The thing I love most about it is that there’s so many young people involved. I started writing poetry when I was about 14…and I wanted it to change the world.”

He decided to set-up the festival in 2016 after a discussion with Craig Chettle, CEO of Confetti Media Group and Chair of Notts TV, to showcase the talent in the city.

Some of his other work includes co-writing the BBC show ‘The Royle Family’. He also set up the Manchester Poetry Festival which in 2006 turned into Manchester Literature Festival.

“It’s been a real buzz being here tonight”

jackie kay mbe frse

One of the biggest acts appearing at the festival, Jackie Kay MBE FRSE, performed on Sunday, April 22 at Waterstones bookshop on Bridlegate.

Supporting her was local poet Milla Tebbs, 19, who kicked off the evening with a range of both honest and personal poetry.

Kay, 56, who in 2016 was named the National Poet for Scotland, said: “It’s been a real buzz being here tonight, being part of this Nottingham Poetry Festival. [I’ve] met so many wonderful people.”

Jackie Kay performing at this year’s Nottingham Poetry Festival.

Audio: Jackie Kay MBE FRSE, talks about what it was like to perform in Nottingham. 

Another local poet who is part of events throughout the festival is Leanne Moden who has performed all over the country, including at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and WOMAD.

The 31-year-old poet, who is both performing and running workshops across seven events, is also the Assistant Executive to Director at the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.

Moden said: “You can go out any night of the week in Nottingham and stumble across spoken word so I would say it’s one of the best places in the country to go out and see emerging artists and national talent.”

Video: Poet Leanne Moden talks about how she got into poetry. 

The plans for the future of the festival is to allow other local people to start taking control.

Normal said: “What I’d like is for people in Nottingham to take ownership…so we’re going to have a steering committee after this one.”

This years festival will run for 10 days between Friday, April 20 until Sunday, April 29. To find out about specific events visit: https://nottinghampoetryfestival.com/