Plymouth Poetry Festival

Current stage: Being supported

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Project description


  • QueerOutLoud
  • Plymouth Poetry Events
  • Poetry@thePPL
Briefly describe your project

Plymouth Poetry Festival will be the largest celebration of poetry in Plymouth, running for a week across the entire city. We have countless phenomenal poetry groups and venues, and would like to bring attention to them all during National Poetry Month (April).

We will have fringe events leading up to the Festival with workshops, open mics and competitions to help spread the word about the event.

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

How would we get people interested that are not already part of the poetry network in Plymouth? Maybe through social media, fringe events, physical posters?

What additional events might people be interested in, either leading up to the Festival or during? Workshops, exhibitions, small readings etc.

How would we showcase work from those that do not wish to perform? Our current idea is printed and framed pieces of work but are there any other ways you might enjoy reading others’ work?

What sort of activities might facilitate getting children involved? We are looking at hosting an event at Soapbox Theatre and would love to know what sort of events you would bring your children to.

Describe what you hope your Collective will achieve

We hope to achieve a greater appreciation of poetry across the arts scene in Plymouth, and awareness of the many events in the city for those that haven’t discovered how much there is to offer.

Poetry is a great art form for those wishing to express their emotions and has been greatly beneficial for many people’s mental health. It is often viewed as just for academics, or too difficult to get into, and we would like to challenge this view by making the events as accessible as possible. There are many different styles across the city and so there is something for everyone.

The performance aspect of poetry is great for those trying to build confidence with public speaking and conveying emotions/personal truth to an audience. We will host workshops during the fringe events leading up to the Festival which will include practice performances for those wanting to read their poetry out loud but struggle with stage fright.

For those still not ready for performing, we will print their work as part of an exhibition during the final event of the festival.

The event itself will take place in all the venues typically used by various poetry groups (Leadworks – CrossCountryWriters, Creme De La Creme and Leadworks open mic; Providence Pub – Provi Poets; Minerva Cafe – QueerOutLoud; Rockets and Rascals – Language Club, etc) so that each group gets a chance to shine in their own space. The event will conclude at Manor Street Gallery with a line up of poets from across each group, and those that don’t manage to attend in person. We would also be willing to work with Theatre Royal, Barbican Theatre and The Box if such opportunities present themselves.

As a further, more permanent celebration of Plymouth’s Poets, Poppy and Mimi would publish a collection summarising the Festival with their small publishing house (currently being set up.)

Describe how your Collective formed

Our collective consists of Poppy-Jayne Jones, founder of Plymouth Poetry events – a comprehensive list of all events running in the city to advertise, and for organisers to avoid scheduling conflicts; Jonah Corren, host of Poetry at the PPL – a monthly open mic with featured headline poets from across the UK and local support; and Mimi Jones, founder of QueerOutLoud – the queer creatives network for the South West.

We all met at various poetry events, going on to work together at QueerOutLoud, Poetry at the PPL, and assisting on Plymouth Poetry Events organisation.

We all have a passion for poetry and the arts, each a mixture of musicians, authors, playwrights and painters. Jonah is a songwriter-poet who has released a folk-rock EP, and whose poems have appeared in various anthologies and journals. Poppy is a performer and facilitator who has hosted womens’ poetry circles for Plymouth Red Tent, and has published a pamphlet of poems with Jawbone Press. Mimi has written a sold out show for Theatre Royal Plymouth and spent 2023 as Plymouth’s Young City Laureate, helping to build interest in young people for the arts, and expand the public’s understanding of Queerness and autism.

Which collaboration “shape” do you expect will best describe your project?

PLATFORM –An organisation, supported by others, that generates opportunities for self-expression by individuals or organisations.

In which areas would you expect most of your grant to be spent?

Core Funding / Time, Events, Marketing / Promotion, Equipment Upgrades