Stamford’s Verse Poetry Festival 2016 went off with a poetic bang last week with hundreds of locals and visitors from afar.
Stamford residents and visitors enjoyed live poetry readings, performance workshops, family shows and other poetry-related events in Stamford Arts Centre, Stamford High Street, Stamford Library and Walkers Book Shop.
Some of the most prominent poets, authors and performers in the country were on ahnd to entertain including Hollie McNish, Mark Grist and Sophie Hannah.
The festival started with the announcement of Stamford’s 2016/17 Poet Laureate as Camilla Mclean on Wednesday last week at the special Pint of Poetry Poet Laureate Final in Stamford Arts Centre’s Cellar Bar.
Camilla will be taking over from 2015/16 Poet Laureate, Rebecca Westwood, on May 5 and will be delivering her first official poem to mark the inauguration of Stamford’s next mayor, John Dawson, who takes the role from Sue Sandall.
Camilla said: “I love performing poetry and can’t wait to encourage others to step up and create their own.”
Speaking after the Verse Festival’s final show on Sunday, Karen Burrows, festival organiser and Event Administrator at Stamford Arts Centre, said: “This year’s Verse Poetry Festival has been bigger and better than ever before.
“I am delighted with this year’s appointment of Camilla as the next Stamford Poet Laureate and cannot wait to see what wonderful ideas she has over the next year to further promote and inspire poetry in Stamford.”
Camilla is a regular with a great many other local poets at Stamford’s Pint of Poetry open-mic events that take place in the Cellar Bar on the last Wednesday of every month from 8pm.
The competition has been held annually since 2012 and the Poet Laureate’s role is to work with Stamford Arts Centre and within the community to identify opportunities to make poetry part of the life of the town.