The Future Looks Bright for 2017 Festival

Roy McFarlaneLeft to Right: Raymond Antrobus, Roy Mcfarlane, Fiona Sampson, & Jasmine Gardosi  

Published January 2017
This May the Regency Spa town of Cheltenham will be the stage for 12 days of spoken word, poetry, music, film and drama when the Cheltenham Poetry Festival returns for its seventh year. The theme for 2017 is ‘The Future’ and, as well as offering an electrifying mix of internationally acclaimed writers and performers, the Festival will also be looking to the future with a series of exciting new multi-media presentations of new writing which will fuse film, live performance by poets and djs and electronica. 

Highlights of the Festival include a visit from British–Jamaican spoken word star Raymond Antrobus, readings by some of the UK’s most acclaimed poets (Ben Parker, Matthew Sweeney, Roy Mcfarlane), a Slam Champ showcase featuring Jasmine Gardosi, new drama inspired by poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, a plethora of stimulating talks including Fiona Sampson on Mary Shelley, electrifying poetry cinema, djs, a ‘poetry jam’ with a local orchestra, Stuart Maconie returns to share his love of 20th Century poetry, Festival favourite John Hegley performs comic poetry old and new, and there are workshops and open mic slots galore.

Festival director Anna Saunders says, ‘our 2017 programme is the most diverse and exciting we’ve yet produced  – with a really bold line-up of inspiring writers and performers. Our programme aims to show how poetry can be thought-provoking, entertaining, thrilling, sometimes outspoken, and occasionally even shocking.’

Our theme for 2017 is ‘the future’. We offer a literary glimpse of dystopia and utopias, readings sci-fi flash fiction and poetry, and we will be inviting for local poets to share their visions of tomorrow’s world.

We are also offering workshops in poetry cinema and ‘Augmented Poetry’ in which budding writers can learn exciting new multi-media techniques to present their work In an innovative and ‘futuristic’ way!

‘The future’ looks bright for literature lovers thanks to the Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2017.

Anyone interested in hearing more can join the festival mailing list.

For media enquiries please call Anna Saunders on 01242 285812 or email