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The Workhouse Poetry Festival

The Workhouse, Upton Road, Southwell, Nottingham, NG25 0PT
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The Workhouse Poetry Festival, Southwell Nottinghamshire


Sunday 8 September - Sunday 22 September 2019
The Workhouse
Tickets: Free, but normal admission charges apply

This autumn, discover the smells and senses of poetry at The Workhouse. This year the theme is around care and creativity with the poetry reflecting the flavour of the garden and natural world.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the house and garden following a poetry trail, hear poetry as spoken word on special performance days, and take part in activities incorporating all the senses. Visitors can also take part in special workshops led by writers and lecturers from Loughborough and Derby universities. This year, The Workhouse are delighted to welcome acclaimed poet Henry Normal who will be performing his own works as part of the experience on Saturday 14 September from 2pm.

This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue. Full details are provided on The Workhouse website.


Wednesday 11 & Wednesday 18 September | Performance Days 
Kicking off the performance days, there will be an opportunity for visitors to select poems and nominate an area within The Workhouse where they will be read by Michelle and Tamara Jankowska from Derby University.

Friday 13 September | 12.30 - 2.30pm |  The Voice of Thomas Becher
Step back in time and join Reverend John T. Becher, founder of The Workhouse, as he performs poems inspired by The Workhouse.

Saturday 14 September | 2pm | Henry Normal 
Poetry perfomance by Henry Normal, poet, writer and broadcaster. This event is in collaboration with Flower Pod from Reach Learning Disability UK collective.

Sunday 22 September | From 12pm 
The festival closes with a session exploring Irish poetry connected with the theme this year of care and creativity, ran Dr Deirdre O'Byrne from Loughborough University, who has academic expertise in Irish Literature and Storytelling.

At 2pm, poet Jacqueline Gabbitas will be giving a reading of her poetry and reflecting on her family connections to The Workhouse. Jacqueline is a descendant of the famous Worksop chair makers, Gabbitas - producer of the well-known Windsor Chairs which were used in workhouses around the country in the 1840s. This particular style of chair is currently displayed within The Workhouse building.


(Programme may be subject to change as a result of circumstances outside the National Trust’ control)

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