A while back, just before lockdown, I was asked to get involved in the South Downs Poetry Festival (SDPF). The SDPF runs throughout the year, and I’ve been tasked with generating ideas and events to the west of the South Downs – think Portsmouth, Petersfield, Havant, Guildford, as far across as Alton (but not Winchester, which already has it’s own excellent festival).
The SDPF already has a strong presence in the East of the area, particularly around Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst, Petworth, but needs more events and activity to the west.
I’ve not done much so far – Covid and other commitments have got in the way – though I did manage to set up a Shakespeare’s birthday event with Dempsey & Windle. I am now finally looking to put some of my own ideas into practice, but am also open, of course to other suggestions.
One thought I had was to run a sport themed poetry event at a location that has a particular resonance for sport – there are a few locations with a strong link historically to cricket and football in particular – but the locations I had in mind are not easy to get to without a car, and I wonder if the theme is too narrow.
I’m particularly interested in poetry associated with history and place – however am very open to any suggestions. So if anyone reading this has any ideas, whether in terms of workshops, readings, open mic events / walks, whatever, in the western part of the South Downs then let me know. As we hopefully open up over the coming months I am keen to see how we can develop the SDPF in this area.
For more information on the SDPF and to see events already scheduled for the year please go to;