Bridlington Poetry Festival has Ian McMillan as patron

Poet Ian McMillan visits the residents of the Old Rectory residential home in Bempton as part of 'Poetry on Prescription'.
Poet Ian McMillan visits the residents of the Old Rectory residential home in Bempton as part of 'Poetry on Prescription'.

The Bridlington Poetry Festival is going from strength to strength - and this year the Barnsley Bard, Ian McMillan, has joined as its patron.

The artistic director of the festival is Leeds-based poet Antony Dunn, who has programmed three days of performances, talks, and film screenings, starting on June 14.

Around 30 performers will be taking part, including Jo Shapcott, winner of the 2010 Costa Book of the Year; Jackie Kay, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award; Don Paterson, twice winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; W.N. Herbert, twice shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Helen Mort, five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award; and Rhian Edwards, shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2013.

This year also sees the launch of the Bridlington Poetry Festival Summer School, an intensive creative writing programme running alongside the festival programme, led by renowned poets and tutors Daljit Nagra and Pascale Petit.

In 2013 the festival welcomes its first patron, Ian McMillan.

Well-known to poetry lovers and radio listeners as the Bard of Barnsley, Ian is a poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.

Ian is part of ‘Poetry on Prescription’, an innovative project in which he performs in residential homes, with the aim of bringing carers and residents closer together through poetry, humour and conversation.

As part of this initiative he has already visited the Old Rectory in Bempton, providing a higly entertaining session.

He is enthusiastic about the project and said: “I’m very excited to be the poetry doctor on the Poetry on Prescription scheme; it shows the commitment that Bridlington Poetry Festival has to written and spoken word in all its forms.”

Jackie Kay will be announcing the winners of the festival’s Larkin and East Riding Poetry Competition, in association with the Philip Larkin Society, with £1,000 going to the first prize winner. Demonstrating the wide appeal of poetry, entries have been received from all over the world.

The festival will also feature performances by primary and secondary school students who have been working with talented young poet Andrew McMillan in schools around Bridlington as part of the festival’s Poetry Scope project. And there will be some interactive performances for young people, including a children’s cabaret from Spill the Beans; a Poetry Slam Cabaret organised by York Poet Henry Raby; and a Poetry Geo-Cache for families,

The festival is organised by Wordquake, an East Riding Library Service project that promotes reading and live literature.

Sewerby Hall hosts the event, now in its fourth year, from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 June.

Tickets are available from the Bridlington Poetry Festival website or by phone on (01482) 392699.

For more information visit