The first Derby Poetry Festival took place in November organised by Derbys Wordwise promoter, Jamie Thrasivoulou and DIY member, Trevor Wright. With support from Derby News and Derby City Council, it featured a variety of poetry workshops, open mics , junior and adult poetry competitions and headline poets.
Writing East Midlands and Derby Live kindly supported an afternoon of refugee poetry at the Guildhall where the excellent anthology Riding on Solomons Carpet was launched, from the Write Here Sanctuary project, featuring poetry from participants in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. Thanks to Leanne Moden for organising a special afternoon.
Tony Walsh Headlined the first night at the Quad with people who hadn’t booked tickets unfortunately being turned away as we had reached capacity. Cathy Grindrod headlined the Friday night with a couple of DIY’ers in the open mic and Shrivanee headlined the She Speaks Sunday night. Young Joe won the junior poetry competition with Dwane Reads winning the adults- both receiving book voucher kindly donated by Derby Waterstones.
Saturday’s headline at the Venue was Linton Kwesi Johnson, supported by Anthony Anaxagourou with Ioney Smallthorne and Miggy Angel. It was a sell out with people travelling from as far away as Brighton and Lancaster. Linton did an authoritative hour set and received a standing ovation from the 240 capacity crowd. He also admitted over a late night curry to being both a Strictly and West Ham fan!
Thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend. So it made a small loss. So what. It was a blast and will be back bigger and better in November 2018.