Metronome Features

Nottingham Poetry Festival Moves Online

Nottingham Poetry Festival banner

From Friday 13 November to Sunday 22 November, Nottingham Poetry Festival will take place online, with free tickets for all.

Nottingham Poetry Festival is back this November, with a twist. We may be entering a second national lockdown, but the show will go on. As we’re unable to allow people into Metronome to watch these talented poets, and join in with the talks and workshops in person, the festival is moving online. Not only will it be live streamed, it will also be free for everyone. What’s not to like?

This will be the fifth year that Nottingham Poetry Festival will shine a spotlight on the city’s thriving literary scene. You’ll be able to watch the incredible talent of Lemn Sissay, Vanessa Kisuule, Anthony Anaxagorou and Henry Normal from the safety and comfort of your own home.

Nottingham Poetry Festival will also be hosting their debut panel event, ‘In Defence of Poetry’, hosted by John Berkavitch, Associate Producer at Apples and Snakes. The discussion panelists will be Panya Banjoko, Jess Tickell, Casey Bailey, Keith Jarrett and Grace Balchin.

Nick Makoha will be hosting a masterclass on writing as a stranger. This workshop will be for anyone interested in exploring issues of identity, race, and migration. Exercises will be short and accessible to writers and readers of all levels of experience. The course is primarily aimed at people from BAME backgrounds, but all are welcome. If you’re joining this workshop, you’re encouraged to bring samples of your poetry writing to work on and discuss.

Seán Hewitt will be hosting another workshop, Queer Natures. He explained what to expect.

“In this workshop, we will explore nature’s infinite variety, its flamboyance, and look at how poets have sought out its queerness, its eroticism and its plurality. We’ll also write poems that seek out the queerness of the natural world, celebrating it (and ourselves) along the way.”


Ruth Padel will be hosting the event ‘Beginning Again: Renewing your Poems’, in which she will give a reading from the two collections she published this year. This will be followed by talking about her Personal ABC of Writing Poetry, and she’ll answer questions from the audience. The event will finish with an exercise that might inspire participants into new poems.

Pete “The Temp” Bearder’s ‘Homer to Hip Hop: A People’s History of Spoken Word’ follows July’s release of Pete the temp’s groundbreaking new book ‘Stage Invasion’. He’ll bring to life some of the most iconic moments in the history of performance poetry, from ballad singers and Beat poets, to the icons of dub, punk and hip hop.

Finishing the week off in style will be Gobs Collective, which will be headlined by Deborah Stevenson. With a massive nod to Mouthy Poets, GOBS Collective launched in March 2020 in partnership with Nottingham Trent University. The group of emerging poets met in NTU’s Dance Studio, starting on a journey of development in a series of creative-writing workshops with lead artists Ioney Smallhorne and Bridie Squires. Now, the dynamic group of poets are set to deliver a live showcase.

We’re so pleased we can help to keep this festival going, so please join us in celebrating the power of poetry.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the Nottingham Poetry Festival 2020 events, and register for your free tickets, visit our What’s On page.