Adventurous poetry alive and well

Reactions, Poetry-next-the-Sea @ Fakenham Community Centre

Reactions, Poetry-next-the-Sea @ Fakenham Community Centre


If any event can erode the myth that poetry is an albatross of an art form, awaiting extinction, it's the Poetry-next-the-Sea Festival.

In its fourth year, the superb Wells-based event invites audiences to a week-long celebration of living poetry with headlining artists including Simon Armitage, Sophie Hannah and Wendy Cope joining forces with North Norfolk poets and young writers from local schools.

Talented contributors to Reactions, UEA's annual journal of new poetry, launched the festival with cliché-busting performances that did justice to the University's reputation for sniffing out creative potential.

Paul Batchelor treats gritty topics with pitch-black humour like the self-pitying mantra of the alcoholic "Poor me poor me pour me, a drink".

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Andrea Holland's eye captures meaning behind gesture – a groom's hand shrinks as the ring is put on his finger, while in Sarah Laws' poems quirky wit meets a bony twist of the macabre – long-term vegetarians tuck into chicken.

Long live fresh and adventurous poetry.

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