Wordfest embraces National Poetry Day

John Harvey at Shoreham Wordfest
John Harvey at Shoreham Wordfest

TODAY is National Poetry Day, and Shoreham Wordfest has organised a number of events to celebrate.

These include a writing workshop at Herons Dale special school, and a poetic pub crawl along Shoreham High Street, starting at the Duke of Wellington, moving to Suter’s Yard and finishing at the Piston Broke.

Shoreham’s fourth literary festival has been hailed a great success so far, with lots more to come over the next two weeks. Carol Cleveland, fresh from the Monty Python reunion at the O2 Arena, gave a talk at Wordfest’s launch dinner, acting out episodes from her new autobiography, Pom Pom’s Up!

Carol will also be at the Fische Houseboat with a screening of her latest film role in Search for Simon on Saturday.

Wordfest patron, actor Julian Wadham, will be reading First World War poetry at St Mary de Haura on Thursday, October 9.

Friday evening featured poetry combined with fiery jazz with author John Harvey, Brighton poet Lee Harwood and the John Lake jazz quartet.

There have been writing courses for all ages and a talk by Meike Ziervogel about her new novel Clara’s daughter.

Saturday evening’s drama, Second Best Bed, saw actress Liz Grand reminiscing about her life with Shakespeare on the eve of his funeral.

Brighton author Sally O’Reilly will give a talk called Dark Aemilia on October 11 at Sussex Yacht Club,

Sunday evening saw a sell-out performance with the Shakespeare Heptet rocking the Verda Houseboat.

There will be more Sonnets and Songs at St. Mary’s House, Bramber, on Sunday, October 12.

Monday saw a talk by author Eva Weaver about her debut novel, The Puppet Boy of Warsaw, and on Tuesday Cambridge Footlights performed Real Feelings at Lancing College.

On Wedndesay chef and cookery writer, Polly Tyrer, gave cookery demonstrations and readings from the novel Ripe for the Picking.

Wordfest’s second weekend includes new plays directed by actress and playwright Janet Behan, and an evening of fun and fury with Attila the Stockbroker and Murray Lachlan Young.

There are free author talks for children and young people at Shoreham Library, the Graphic Novel events on the Fische Houseboat, and a free concert by Shoreham Singers at Brighton Methodist Church.

Prunella Scales has had to withdraw from her event on October 10 due to ill-health, but the event will continue with actress Sara Kestleman.

Organiser Rosalind Turner said: “We are sorry that Prunella has had to withdraw and we all wish her well.

“We can guarantee an excellent show with Sara, who is an outstanding actress, dancer, and singer, whose roles from Anna Karenina to Midsummer Murders.

“The show has been devised by poet Leo Aylen as a humorous take on the differences between men and woman, and has been performed by him and several actresses in various theatres and festivals to considerable acclaim.”