Welcome to Sheaf Poetry Festival, a new poetry festival for Sheffield and nearby. We’ve been working hard to programme a vibrant combination of poetry, spoken word and cross-disciplinary events for all poetry lovers to enjoy, and a friendly festival atmosphere in which that can happen, and we want to make you all feel as welcome as possible.
We’ve previously been Sheffield Poetry Festival and South Yorkshire Poetry Festival, and we’re really proud of what we’ve already achieved. As Sheaf Poetry Festival, our mission is to keep on bringing world-class poetry to Sheffield and to share inspiring, exciting voices with our audiences.
This is the first year we’ve had a poet-in-residence and a young poet-in-residence as part of the festival, and it has been great to give this opportunity to two poets.
Mark Pajak and Georgie Woodhead will be on hand at our launch event. Mark has brought a poetry ghost walk and a collaboration with the National Videogame Museum to our programme, so do look out for those!
The festival is spread over nine days, commencing on Friday 17 May with our festival launch event. The weekend will consist of a packed programme of readings, performances and workshops, and the following week includes an assortment of evening events, including Tuesday’s Festival of Debate special with Roger McGough at the Abbeydale Picture House. We’ll be closing the festival on Saturday 25 May with one of Longbarrow Press’s famous Sheffield poetry walks and a poetry film night with Elephant’s Footprint. Click here to view or download the full programme.
Our partners include vibrant small publishers such as The Poetry Business, Nine Arches Press and Penned in the Margins, and fantastic local poetry promoters and spoken word nights such as Verse Matters and Wordlife. We’ll also be staging a reading with the amazing Hive South Yorkshire, who work with poets aged 14-30 across the area, and working with The Reader to bring you shared reading sessions. Our venues are for the most part accessible and easy to reach, the majority being in the centre of Sheffield.
We’re hugely grateful for the support of Arts Council England, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Town Trust, The University of Sheffield, and all of our partners. Whatever flavour of poetry you enjoy, we hope there is something for you here.
The Festival Team