Books / Poetry

Bristol Poetry Festival reveal 2020 programme

By joe melia, Friday Feb 7, 2020

Lyra, Bristol Poetry Festival, returns in March for its second instalment, following a very successful debut last year.

The 2020 programme’s themes are climate, nature and Bristol’s place at the forefront of the Romantic Poetry movement. Headlining the 10-day festival are UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and Forward Prize-winning internet sensation from the US, Danez Smith (pictured).


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The brilliant line up also features Zena Edwards, Luke Kennard, Carrie Etter, Harry Baker, plus Bristol-based Edson Burton and TJ Dema. To encourage as wide an audience as possible, some events are free and the organisers state that the festival is 100% wheelchair accessible.

Festival co-directors, Lucy English and Danny Pandolfi, say: “Our aim is to present and promote poetry in as many formats as possible, and this year we are hosting live readings from Forward Prize winning poets, another huge slam at Arnolfini, open mics, family activities, a number of varied workshops for writers and performers, panel discussion, walking tours and a film screening.

“We’re excited to be bringing the festival to a wide range of venues including Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Central Library, St. George’s Bristol, Waterstones and Storysmith Bookshop, Unitarian Hall, Bristol University, Square Club, SS Great Britain and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.”

Lyra’s 2020 Festival Poet is Bristol-based writer and performer Rebecca Tantony, who will be engaged in outreach work around the city and performing brand new work during the festival alongside musician, Brook Tate.

Festival organisers have raised over £1,700 for their GoFundMe campaign to support some of the running costs of the festival. The crowdfunding target is £2,000 and donations are still very welcome.

Lyra, Bristol Poetry Festival runs from March 13 to March 22. For the full programme of events, information on event timings, advance tickets and festival passes, visit

Main photo credit: Hieu Minh Nguyen

Read more: New Citywide Project to Remember One of Bristol’s Most Famous Poets

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