Friday July 28th

16 Ways of Writing a Poem :  A poetry workshop with Mario Petrucci

This fascinating, hands-on trawl of all the major pathways into new poems is as comprehensive as it is unique.  Includes observation, the senses, personal memory, reflection, imagination, other people’s work – indeed, everything from the ‘found poem’ to Larkin’s pickles.  Mario’s immense experience in the field fuels a groundbreaking master class on compositional process, generating a workshop experience of immense variety and enduring value.

Multi-award winning poet Mario Petrucci was the first Poet in Residence at The Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3.  See for his many other awards and accolades.

9.30 – 12.30   The River Room £15 including refreshments (limited to 15 places)



Some examples of Mario’s work can be found on the following links:

Petrucci, Mario – Enitharmon Editions   Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl  [winner of the Arvon/ Daily Telegraph prize]

afterlove (    afterlove

Mario Petrucci (    Dawn Ravens (23 poems from Saadi and Rumi)

‘Moonbird : love poems’ by Mario Petrucci | Fair Acre Press    Moonbird : love poems

Mario Petrucci – Poetry’s Soul-Song

Following this morning’s Poetry Masterclass, Mario reads from several brilliantly reviewed collections.  His recently completed trilogy of ‘love/unloved’ poems.  afterlove (Cinnamon) is ‘gloriously simple, direct and intense’ (Book Council of Wales), Dawn Ravens (Lapwing) draws on Saadi and Rumi to create a technical and emotive tour de force, and Moonbird : love poems (Fair Acre) lights up language with the imperatives of adoration.  Among many prizes and awards ( see ) Mario’s poem Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl (Enitharmon) won the coveted Daily Telegraph/ Arvon Prize for Poetry London.This remarkable book delivered ‘the finest sort of shock, not just to the senses, but to the conscience, to the soul’.  All in all, you are in for a spectacular hour of poetry from a master! 

Anything by Petrucci is worth pausing for. – Times Literary Supplement (2011)

Heartfelt, ambitious and alive. – The Daily Telegraph

2.00 – 3.00  The River Room   £8.00

Gerda Stevenson – Tomorrow’s Feast 

Award-winning writer, actor, theatre director and singer-songwriter Gerda Stevenson launches  her latest poetry collection ‘Tomorrow’s Feast’, reflecting the challenges of today’s world.  At the forefront of Gerda’s consciousness is the legacy faced by the next generation. In many ways, as the title implies, the book is a tribute to youth. Its scope is wide and deep, profoundly personal as well as political, employing a range of poetic forms, including a virtuosic libretto in verse – a contemporary retelling of Coleridge’s epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner set during the refugee crisis. 

A collection by Gerda Stevenson is always a literary event of significance. Her poems are vigilant, prudent, and lucid, full of lyricism and wit. Her Mariner, included here, is a brilliant libretto… She is a visionary who sings the world alive. – Menna Elfyn 

Supported by The Scottish Book Trust.

4.00 – 5.00   The River Room  £5.00

Friday Night is Film Night : Two Films. Two award-winning actresses
Gertie and Me: Annette Badland

Annette, who played unconventional writer Gertrude Stein in After Edward at Shakespeare’s Globe, shares the work and world of this extraordinary woman – friend to Picasso, Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald.

‘…Annette Badland’s (Gertrude) Stein alone is worth the ticket price.(review of The Shakespeare’s Globe production)

Annette’s theatre roles are legion including roles at The National Theatre, The Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe. Annette, one of the UK’s busiest actresses, currently plays Fleur Perkins, the pathologist in Midsomer Murders, Nanny Bingo in Big Boys and makes a recurring guest star appearance as Mae in the Apple TV series Ted Lasso.  Annette’s many  awards include a prestigious nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1993 for her performance as Sadie in Jim Cartwright’s play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at The National Theatre.

Inside & Out : The Art of Christian Small: Gerda Stevenson

Gerda Stevenson presents Inside & Out:  The Art of Christian Small. Christian Small lived and painted in the Scottish Borders village of West Linton for over 60 years. Until now her marvellous work has been virtually unknown beyond her local community. Gerda introduces this remarkable artist. 

Gerda is an award-winning and widely published writer of poetry, prose and drama, as well as being a singer-songwriter, and director of film and opera. She has played many parts in the theatre, including the title role in Edwin Morgan’s Phaedra and Lady Macbeth, and has appeared in many television dramas. She was Murren’s mother in the Mel Gibson film Braveheart, and her voice is familiar to listeners of British radio, as a reader of short stories and adaptations. Gerda’s many awards include a BAFTA Best Film Actress Award for her role in Margaret Tait’s feature film Blue Black Permanent.

8.00 – 9.00  The River Room  £5.00

Festival Exhibition
Ken Smyth Illustration

An exhibition of illustrations by Ken Smyth for Chrys Salt’s poem sequence on the Iraq war.  The illustrations were used for two short films by Ken based on two of the poems which were set to music by composer Kat Gillham in 2018.  The two films will be showing as part of the exhibition.

An alternative musical interpretation of the poem sequence forms part of this year’s programme on Thursday 27th with Chrys reading alongside composer and saxophonist Richard Ingham. 

Thursday 27 – Sunday 30  10am – 4pm
The Bakehouse Studio   Free