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Literature comes to life at Poole Festival of Words

The written and spoken word will be celebrated by a number of live events at Poole Festival of Words.

The festival aims to raise the profile of literature in Poole through the provision of workshops, performance, and participatory open mic activities.

Organised by Lit Up! with financial support from Borough of Poole, Arts Council England and Apples and Snakes, Poole Festival of Words is a schedule of events taking place at Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court from 23-26 July 2015.

As part of a cross-conurbation project between Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council, Lit Up! provides a hub for local writers who are keen to network with others to learn new skills, share work, and engage new audiences.

Poole Festival of Words will offer writing workshops aimed at beginners and improvers across a spectrum of activities, including animating characters for page and stage, writing for radio and screen, and finding out how to use internal dialogue to best effect. There will be sessions tailored towards parents and children as well as a themed workshop exploring ways of animating objects on display at Poole Museum.

Performances will take place at Poole Festival of Words during the evenings, starting with a brand new Spoken Word showcase called ‘Spread the Verb’ on Thursday 23 July, featuring National Poetry Slam Champion, Vanessa Kisuule with support from Bournemouth Poet Laureate James Manlow and host of Apples and Snakes ‘451’ show, Rob Casey. Compered by Myriam Word Maker, there will be an open mic for local poets to share words and earn the chance of becoming a featured guest in a future show.

On Friday 24 July ‘The Weevil in the Biscuit’ takes centre stage at Scaplen’s Court when former local resident, Robert Louis Stevenson’s feverish tale of the creation of jekyll and Hyde is told through an interpretation by award-winning playwright John Foster.

Topping the bill on Saturday 25 July is Dorset Writers’ Network Open Story Slam, giving opportunity for local writers to present flash fiction works of less than 500 words in under 5 minutes. The finest storyteller will become Poole Festival of Words Short Story Slam Winner 2015, an accolade that comes with a prize to be announced on the night.

Poole Festival of Words ends on Sunday 26 July with an Apples and Snakes’ Power Plant: Springboard Masterclass aimed at poets looking to progress from poetry sets to touring shows. This full day of activities, advice and performance is led by professional poets and performers including Nick Field, Chanje Kunda and Matt West.

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure, Borough of Poole, said: “I’m delighted to see local talent and cultural heritage combine through a festival that marries stories from the past and present with the capacity to inspire voices of the future.”

Tickets for Poole Festival of Words activities are available on the door and start from £5/£3 concession. Further information can be found at www.litupwriting.co.uk, by emailing Lit Up! project coordinator Matt West at matt@artfulscribe.co.uk or by calling 07588 719891.