Saturday 28 June 1997
The backbone of the two-week festival is provided by circuit stalwarts Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Matthew Sweeney and Liz Lochhead, plus lunatic fringe lads John Hegley and John Cooper Clarke (above). The flesh comes in the shape of themed/performance spots. On Fri 4 Jul, for example, George Melly talks about the paintings of his friend, Conroy Maddox, which are accompanied by surrealist scribblings. That evening, there's a spoken word homage to those spirits of the open road, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Whitman and Steinbeck. Talks on unknown Victorian poetesses and one-man portraits of Wilfred Owen and Robert Frost might be steering things too much into the realm of stuffy sensibility, but the organisers promise "populist" events, such as pub limerick competitions, to help people let their Pam Ayres down. Every festival has its share of events that lack even the most moribund marketing imagination. Just be thankful you missed the first one, last month: the launch of kiddies' poems on balloons hosted by former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read. Truly, by the sound of it, a thing of baddenesse. Festival 4-13 Jul; main events Fri 4-6 Jul and Fri 11-13 Jul. Info: 01531 634156.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll tops 125 after overnight raids as Operation Protective Edge continues
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
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