The power of the written word is set to be the focus of a UK City of Culture event celebrating Coventry’s creative potential.
The Words and Voices Roadshow: Poetry in the City event will welcome newcomers and the most experienced wordsmiths to a day of engaging workshops and performances at the Assembly Festival Gardens on Sunday, September 5.
The day will be split over two free-to-attend events as part of the University of Warwick’s Resonate Festival, including an evening of live poetry in the setting of a Victorian sideshow-style theatre.
The Poetry in the City workshop will kick off proceedings in the Treehouse at 4pm, bringing together local poets as well as staff and students from the University of Warwick in a relaxed, interactive session exploring Coventry-inspired poetry.
Visitors will get acquainted with George Eliot’s poems about the Coventry Canal, Cathy Galvin’s ode to the Coventry ring road, eco-poetry about the city’s environment and new poetry specially written for Resonate and City of Culture.
Slam in the City, which will unfold on the Piccolo Stage from 8pm, will see staff and students from the University of Warwick present their own work, before discussing the impact that poetry can have on society and how it can reflect important moments in history.
The evening will also include a sneak preview of works to be featured on the BBC’s Contains Strong Language poetry festival, which is being held in Coventry as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.
Poetry in the City will be followed by Words and Voices Roadshow: The Life Stories and Languages That Make Us Who We Are in Coventry two weeks later on Sunday, September 19.
Professor Helen Wheatley, director of the Resonate Festival, said: “The Words and Voices Roadshow has been organised by the University’s Connecting Cultures Global Research Priority, a group which enables research into understanding how we are connected through culture.
“Poetry in the City will provide an opportunity to explore poetry in a public setting, providing a platform for locally-based poets to share their reflections on life in the city and modern society, revealing the diverse perspectives that make up the Coventry of today.
“Everyone attending both events will be given a limited-edition Poetry Pocket produced by our friends at Theatre Absolute, which will include a variety of goodies as well as the tools for people to have a go at writing their own poems.
“We are asking people to submit their creations to the Words and Voices poetry writing competition, with the winner to be revealed later this autumn.
“The day is set to be a fantastic celebration of not only of poetry but of the city, its history and the range of voices that give Coventry its unique identity.”
As a principal partner supporting Coventry City of Culture 2021, the University of Warwick is hosting Resonate Festival, an innovative 12-month programme of public events including talks, public conversations, film festivals, walking tours, debates and much more.
It will culminate in a multi-day festival on campus in April 2022.
The Words and Voices Roadshow will take place at Assembly Festival Gardens from 4pm on Sunday, September 5 and 11am Sunday, September 19. Free.
For more information visit warwick.ac.uk/about/cityofculture/get-involved/programme/current-events/words_and_voices
For more information on The Resonate Festival visit: warwick.ac.uk/about/cityofculture/get-involved/programme
Caption: Professor Helen Wheatley, director of the Resonate Festival.