Welcome to our Advance Information Page with details of our 2018 Festival.

We look forward to unveiling our new website on January 11 2018 with full details of the events that will take place at the Festival between 18-30 April 2018.


We are delighted to announce that

Murray Lachlan Young

is coming to Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2018!

An evening of satirical soliloquy, rock-n-roll reverie and ditty as Murray Lachlan Young presents his stunning new live show – a delightful romp into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people, politics, and the space-time continuum. This is unique stand up poetry/spoken word performance, from one of the very best in the business.

An acclaimed playwright, broadcaster and poet-extraodinaire who is celebrated for his hybrid mix of stand-up comedy with commentaries on the bizarreness of contemporary life, Murray is renowned for his flamboyant, punchy wit, brooding subtext and empathetic humour.

Ignoring the boundaries between poetry, rock-n-roll and comedy, Murray Lachlan Young’s career has been a creative rollercoaster ride across three decades – from becoming the first poet to sign a £1m record contract in the late ‘90’s to being current poet in residence at BBC6 music, via regular slots at The Glastonbury Festival, Latitude, Port Eliot, Womad, No 6 Festival, Beautiful Days and many more.

How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? is his full fat, no holds barred collection of work that echoes the great rhymers Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and Gilbert and Sullivan, along with more contemporary influences such as Grandmaster Flash, Ian Dury and Tom Waits.

‘It’s like a kind of weirdly cool English rap’ – Stephen Stills

‘Simply brilliant, hysterically funny and strangely moving.’ – Claudia Winkleman

‘His exquisite wordsmithery, his sublime observations and the joyous smile of recognition that stretches across my heart each time I read or hear his laser musings!’ – Rhys Ifans

‘A rock ‘n’ roll poet of our time’ – Chrissie Hynde



J B Barrington and Jim Higo

John Hegley's Christmas Party


Wed 20 Dec 2017, 7:30pm

Smokey Joes, 15-17 Bennington Street
Cheltenham  GL50 4ED

A ‘powerhouse’ of a poetry festival.

Wednesday 18 – Monday 30 April 2018 at venues throughout the town.

The Eighth Cheltenham Poetry Festival has the theme of POWER

Cheltenham Poetry Festival will celebrate its eighth year with a potent and explosive programme inspired by the theme POWER!

Please join us for a rich and electrifying programme of spoken word, poetry, comedy, music, slam, workshops, film, hip hop and dance from 18 April 2018

We will be celebrating the power of words, challenging the abuses of power in edgy and outspoken events, empowering  vulnerable groups with our inspiring creative opportunities and asking YOU to respond to our theme at our open mic sessions.

In 2018, as ever, we will be bringing some the UK’s most exciting artists to the stage and showcasing some talented emerging names, from near and far.

We will be announcing our performers names over the next few weeks – please watch this space for more!

The Guardian described us as “a poetry party with a healthy dose of anarchy” – please come out to play next April – we promise you a powerful experience.

Some of the poets who have delighted audiences at our previous festivals