WELSHPOOL is getting ready for its fourth annual Poetry Festival which will be taking place at venues in the town on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, featuring top class contemporary poets with wide-ranging appeal.

Thanks to the generous support of The Ashley Family Foundation. the festival is able to include headline poets Andrew McMillan, Jean Sprackland, Jane Commane, Jonathan Davidson and Susannah Dickey, together with a programme of other readings, workshops, a free open mic and other fringe activities.

Local poet Deborah Alma,also known as The Emergency Poet, will be taking her vintage ambulance to Berriew School on Friday, and will be dispensing poetry prescriptions on the Saturday from 12noon on the Church House lawn. She will also be holding workshops for children.

Deborah has also organised the poetry competitions for children and adults and the results of the Open Poetry Competition will be revealed by judge Andrew McMillan at Church House on the Saturday night.

That will be part of the Church House event taking place with a free Open Mic event between 5.30 and 7pm, followed by stunning guests Jane Commane, Jean Sprackland and Andrew McMillan reading from 7.30pm.

Jonathan Davidson and Susannah Dickey are giving a poetry reading at the library on Friday at 7.30pm.

Festival curator Pat Edwards, told the County Times: "We are grateful to the Ashley Family Foundation for their generous sponsorship. This has enabled us to, once again, invite some of the most influential names in contemporary poetry.

“Even if you wouldn't normally pick up a poetry book or even think about listening to poetry, do come and take advantage of this opportunity to hear the best, with tickets just £7.50 including a free glass of wine or soft drink. I'm pretty sure you'll hear something that appeals and that you'll go home with your ideas about poetry changed for good."

“Poetry is everywhere now as more and more people engage with it. Gone are the days when poetry was just something you hated at school. These days poets reach out through so many different genres to connect with people and reflect their life experiences back at them<2 Pat Added.

Further details and advance ticket booking can be found at www.welshpoolpoetryfestival.org.uk