Tag Archives: Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival

Stratford’s First Black Cleopatra

To mark National Poetry Day, I’m pleased to post ‘Stratford’s First Black Cleopatra’, a poem by Native American poet, Jessica Mehta. Jessica was the Poet in Residence with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as part of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival in June. Her residency was a collaboration with the Hosking Houses Trust. Her poem was inspired […]

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Wendy Cope Reads Her Poems

Thursday 3 October is National Poetry Day. The theme this year is ‘Water’. During the summer, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust had the great pleasure of welcoming the excellent Wendy Cope O.B.E. to be our Writer in Residence. She was invited to write three poems: one on Shakespeare, one on Literary Festivals (we held our 60th […]

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Vanessa Redgrave Reads for Amnesty

The 60th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival ended just over a month ago with an evening which celebrated the work of many of the poets who have read at the Festival over its six decades. Among the poems was ‘Border Story’ by Bulgarian born Kapka Kassabova. It was written when Kapka took up the post of The […]

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Wendy Cope Reads Her Shakespeare Poem

Wendy Cope O.B.E. took up her post as The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Writer in Residence about a month ago. She’s been living nearby in a beautiful cottage that belongs to The Hosking Houses Trust for women writers. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust commissioned her to write three poems as part of its 60th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival. […]

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New Poem by Wendy Cope on Shakespeare

The 60th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival is in full swing. Following on from last year, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is hosting its second Writer in Residence, the great Wendy Cope. She is surely one of the most popular poets of her generation. Her poems, often funny on the surface, ring concisely true with modern concerns and […]

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‘A marvellous box of tricks’: On the shipwreck in Tree’s ‘The Tempest’

The focus on journeys, isolation and wreckage in the current RSC ‘Shipwreck trilogy’ has turned my attention to Victorian productions of these plays, and their use of the shipwreck motif. One such production immediately springs to mind: Tree’s 1904 Tempest at Her Majesty’s Theatre. The play was divided into three acts, and frameworked with two […]

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O for a Muse of Fire!

The last evening of this year’s Stratford Poetry Festival took place on Sunday and starred Penny Downie and John Heffernan. ‘Muse of Fire’ was presented in the spirit of celebration for the 400th anniversary of the King James I Bible. It invited us to consider the Bible as one of Shakespeare’s muses, perhaps the muse […]

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‘Hang there, my verse….’

I write this between events at the 58th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival. In a couple of hours the Shakespeare Centre will be buzzing with the sound of local poets gathering to read their work to each other. This year there will be a special guest appearance from Roy Macfarlane, the Birmingham Poet Laureate. But last Friday, […]

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‘These our actors’

Last year, as I wrote in an earlier blog, I compiled a programme for the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival called ‘At the Mermaid Tavern’, which included a wide selection of writings by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, some of them anonymous. I was pleased to be asked to put together another programme for this year’s festival. The […]

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