New approach for Cley Little Festival of Poetry

A 61-year-old North Norfolk poetry festival has shown you are never too old to change, by launching a new-style programme later this month.

The Cley Little Festival of Poetry 2011 has traditionally been held over two or three days, but this year all of the events will happen on one jam-packed day.

The festival, which was established in 1950 by local resident Elsa Martin, is being staged at British Columbia Hall in Salthouse and at Salthouse Church on May 28.

The programme includes:

British Columbia Hall

? 10am - bookstall and coffee

? 10.30am - Closely Shared: poets Michael Mackmin, Hannah Lowe and Jack Underwood share work that has influenced them. Admission �5

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? 12 noon - Strictly Spoken: a chance to perform a poem and get feedback from judges, with a winner's prize of �20

? 1pm - Poetry at Lunchtime: buffet lunch and light refreshments on sale, or bring your own picnic

? 2pm - Family Workshop/Poetry Stroll: workshop with Phil Barrett, collecting material with which to make a poem

? 4pm - Consequences, Cake and a Cuppa: take part in poetry games, including Consequences

Salthouse Church

? 5.30pm - Poetry Evensong: a celebration of the King James Bible, led by the Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich Cathedral

? 7pm - Poetry and Pimms, with readings by Michael Mackmin, Hannah Lowe and Jack Underwood. Admission �7.

Visitors will also have the chance at any time during the day to put their favourite poem on the poetry tree in Salthouse churchyard.

The festival, which has attracted well-known poets and writers including C Day Lewis, R S Thomas, Norman Nicholson, Germaine Greer and Sir Andrew Motion, is co-ordinated by Cley Poetry Circle.

The Circle meets fortnightly at various locations. Anyone interested in joining can email Helen Birtwell at or Rose Moreton at

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