Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Country's finest poets will take to the stage at Ilkley Literature Festival
Some of the country’s finest poets will be gracing the stage at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival.
The event has a strong link with poetry, with W H Auden opening the first festival 39 years ago with one of his final public appearances.
This year, the likes of dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, one of the official Olympic poets, Lemn Sissay, former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and BBC Radio 4 favourite Roger McGough will all be appearing at the festival, which runs from September 28 to October 14.
The event also includes a host of home-grown Yorkshire talent, including Barnsley Bard Ian McMillan, Blake Morrison, who marks the 400th anniversary of the 1612 Pendle Witchcraft Trials with his new collection entitled A Discoverie Of Witches, and Simon Armitage, who will talk about his journey across the Pennine Way, where his poetry readings pave the way.
And born and raised in Leeds, Ilkley’s 2012 poet in residence, Seni Seneviratne, is of English and Sri Lankan heritage.
She will run poetry networking, open mic and masterclass events, as well as readings with poet Mimi Khalvati, founder of the Poetry School.
There is also an apprentice poet in residence, Seán Hewitt, who will be running his own events, which include a lunchtime poetry reading with British poet, novelist, musician and lecturer, Anthony Joseph, and a workshop on ‘found poetry’, where he will explain how to re-work existing words and phrases into new pieces.
Festival director Rachel Feldberg said: “Poetry is an important part of the festival, and has been since York-born poet W H Auden opened the very first festival in 1973.
“We are always keen to encourage new poets to get involved, where they can, to perform alongside and be inspired by the generation that has gone before.”