Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Jonathan Humble
Features Writer
8:17 AM 24th May 2021

Kendal Poetry Festival: Where To Next?

Following on from this year’s hugely successful Kendal Poetry Festival in February, where pandemic related restrictions on live and physical gatherings were overcome using digital technology, co-directors Kim Moore and Clare Shaw are hosting a free afternoon event on June 2nd from 1-4pm, with a stellar line up of writers, activists and organisations asking: ‘Where to next?’.

Considering what was lost in the pandemic, how the poetry community survived, adapted and developed, there will be three hours of presentations, film and discussion, featuring some of the UK’s leading poets and representatives from literary events.

Clare Shaw
Clare Shaw
With a particular focus on engagement, innovation and accessibility and open to anyone who wants to join the conversation, it will feature speakers and workshops from the Royal Literary Fund, the National Association of Writers in Education, Ilkley Literature Festival, Wordsworth Grasmere and others. Kim and Clare have planned online seminars that will unite audiences, writers and organisers with the aim of sharing the strategies and support to sustain the poetry community through Covid and carry it into an uncertain future.

The programme includes discussions creating the conditions for collective post-traumatic growth facilitated by researcher and poet Christina Wilson and coach and counsellor Sarah Willis; ‘Hybridity’ … a model for change from Erica Morris and Kate Lovery of Ilkley Literature Festival; ‘Opening the Door’, looking at inclusivity, disability and diversity with poet and activist Hannah Hodgson; and ‘Engaging with Trauma through Literature’ with Winnie Li of Clear Lines/ Royal Society of Literature.

Dr Kim Moore
Dr Kim Moore
Writer, animator and filmmaker Em Humble will also introduce the launch of ‘Rising to the Challenge: Literary Community in the Age of Covid’.

Groups have been organised to work with Ann Sansom, Peter Sansom and Ellen McLeod of The Poetry Business who will facilitate ‘Building Community’, Shaun Lawrence of The Reader will look at ‘Engagement and Innovation’, Katharine MacMahon of The Royal Literary Fund ‘Working with Uncertainty’, Hafsah Aneela Bashir and Christina Wilson ‘Opening Doors’, Hannah Catterall of Wordsworth Grasmere will consider ‘The Digital Art Form’, and ‘Writers as Teachers in an Age of Covid: Virtual Action Learning as a tool for creative, personal and professional development’ will be presented by Fiona Mason, NAWE.

If you’d like to listen to the discussions and maybe get involved, further details and tickets for this free event can be found at