New poetry by writers at Buzzwords.

A workshop at Buzzwords poetry night accompanied a reading by Festival director Anna Saunders (with Wendy Klein).

In the workshop, poems by Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney and Gill Garrett were studied, as examples of work which depicts the creative act. Members of the class were then asked to write their own poems on this theme.

In some cases the participants used extended metaphor to represent the act of writing.

Some excellent poems were produced and selected ones are reproduced below.


(Buzzwords is a poetry event run by Angela France. It takes place on the first Sunday of the month and includes a guest poet and workshop).




*A compulsive desire to pull out one’s hair

Distractions knuckle at the locks
but inside the safe-room
the poet feigns indifference
to wrangle the mind still.

An in eye opens to hushed black
and the stab of waiting.

At last she picks ...

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Compound is launched !

The Festival Team

We are delighted to launch Compound; a CPF project to get poets writing together.


We will be running an event at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2015 plus a special pre-festival Well Versed (our monthly Poetry Café) in which we will showcase some of the work submitted, plus other work by poets involved in Compound.


We would like you to co-write one poem. If it is read at the festival, you will also be invited to read one of your own.  We will also be offering a cash prize for the three winning poems. 


You can write on any subject, but if you are stuck for ideas – you could try one of the following –











We don’t mind how you write the poem – you could write a stanza each, or try ‘exquisite corpse’ and write a line each, in turn, or perhaps one of you could write a first draft, and the other poet write a second draft and so on. You can meet ...

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival Children’s Poetry Competition – the winners!



We delighted to announce that the winners of our Children's Poetry Competition are -

1st prize - Lucy Pickering from Cheltenham (£50 Prize).

2nd prize - Amy Harris from Shrewsbury (£30 Prize )

3rd prize - William Bailey from Newcastle. ( £20 Prize and books).


Well done to everyone who entered and to Jordans Solicitors for their generous donation of the cash prizes, and to Waterstones for donating books.


We will be publishing the winning poems on-line, very soon.


Prizes will be given out at our very special Poetry Fun Day this Saturday, May 10th at The Brewery, Cheltenham.


We are running free workshops and poetry performances from midday until 4pm.


The prize giving ceremony will include performances by children’s poets Joy- Amy Wigman and Sarah Snell Pym. It begins at 3pm.


From Midday onwards we are ...

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival is offering a a Poetry Fun Day at The Brewery, Cheltenham on Saturday May 10th

The event, which runs from 12 midday to 4pm, will include free children’s workshops, poetry readings and a prestigious prize giving event, in which the winning entrants in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Children’s Poetry Competition will read their poems. 

Activities  include craft and poetry workshop The Poetry Dragon, in which children can help the poetry dragon grow with their own verse. Budding poets will get the chance to learn about meter, rhythm and rhyme and make their own baby dragon to take home.

The day will also include readings by Sarah Snell-Pym a.k.a. Saffy the Purple Poet and special guests.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival director Anna Saunders says ‘ we are delighted to offer a day of poetry fun in association with our sponsor The Brewery’.

‘As well as offering children craft and poetry workshops, there ...
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The Festival Poem

Marilyn Timms


It was the start of the poetry festival,
in March it was, 2014.
Zeus hadn’t a clue as to where he were going,
but he knew where the Hades he’d been.

Five millennia atop Mount Olympus,
he were lord of all he surveyed.
Theoretically, he could have all what he wanted:
All he wanted were just to get laid.

But he knew his technique it were lacking  
and was feeling all sad and quite wan;
for the whole of his life, he’d not once pulled a girl
unless he’d changed into a swan.

He weren’t quite yer average family man,
his kids had hatched out of eggs:
some he had swallowed, one after another,
but Athena’d popped out of his head.

So he trogged down to Earth on a day trip
for a break from the trouble and strife
in search of a golden-haired goddess
to ask her if she’d be his wife.

When Zeus went back home empty handed,
all his mates crowded round in concern.
‘What happened our king? You look knackered!’
‘Come, gather round chaps, and you’ll ...

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