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

Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate and one of the founders of the poetry festival, both predict it will become an annual international event in the near future.

Now in its third year, the Nottingham Poetry Festival has become hugely successful according to the three co-organisers and a way of bringing people together to celebrate this spoken art-form.

Georgina Wilding, Nottingham’s first Young Poet Laureate said: “It should be international and I think it will be. To have achieved all this in three years…wait ‘til another three goes by, I’m excited for it.”

The 26-year-old doesn’t want to see the annual event be turned into a Literature Festival though which has happened in other cities, because of the under-representation of poetry across the country.

The star-studied line-up this year included a flavour of both local and national artists including Roger McGough MBE and Jackie Kay MBE FRSE.

Georgina Wilding ready for the Nottingham Peacebuilders event at Nottingham Poetry Festival.

Audio: Georgina Wilding explains how she thinks the festival will grow in success. 

Henry Normal, co-organiser of the Nottingham Poetry Festival, opened this year’s festival with five other poets, including Georgina Wilding, where they shared some of their own work.

The 61-year-old, originally from St Ann’s, agrees that it will not take long for the festival to become world-renown.

He now wants to take a step back after this year and allow others to be involved in the decision making.

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.”

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

Audio: Henry Normal explains what he would like the future of the festival to be like.

Normal set up the festival after a discussion with Craig Chettle, CEO of Confetti Media Group and Chair of Notts TV, to showcase local talent.

He 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.”

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 the Manchester Literature Festival.

Video: Henry Normal discusses his inspiration for setting up the Nottingham Poetry Festival.

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

jackie kay mbe frse, national poet for scotland

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

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.”

Audience members wait eagerly for Jackie Kay to come on stage and begin her performance.

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

One of the local poets who was part of this year’s festival is Leanne Moden who has performed all over the country, including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and WOMAD.

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

Moden said: “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 dates for next year’s festival are yet to be announced but are expected in the Autumn.