Warning: This weekend contains strong language

Published: Monday 25th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The BBC’s new national poetry and spoken word festival kicks off this Thursday. Here’s what to expect.

Contains Strong Language is a brand new festival created by the BBC to celebrate local, national and international poets and spoken word artists. The four-day event coincides with National Poetry Day, and Hull’s 25-year-old Humber Mouth Literature Festival will follow shortly afterwards.

As you may already know, Hull has a rich history of inspiring some of the world’s most notable wordsmiths, including Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith and Andrew Marvell. The event will celebrate this, as well as showcase up-and-coming artists.

The exciting programme includes a mix of gala readings, live music, open mic evenings, live radio broadcasts from various Hull venues, TV and film screenings, debates, talks and workshops.

On Thursday 28 September, critically acclaimed folk artist Kathryn Williams will perform at Kardomah94.

Before this, the Hull ‘17 Ensemble present their work during a gala lunch at the venue. This group of innovative poets has been commissioned to produce work especially for the festival and will perform at various times across the weekend. The incredible lineup includes Hull’s self-dubbed ‘fourth best poet’ Dean Wilson, award-winning Hannah Silva, local pub singer and poet Vicky Foster, and Isaiah Hull, who has already supported the likes of Skepta and Kate Tempest at the young age of 19.

The following day will see northern poet, Kate Fox, team up with Hull’s Women of Words collective. The event honours the voices of women in the city.

Audiences can also enjoy several free film screenings, such as Through the Lens of Larkin by John Wedgwood Clarke. This exploration of Larkin’s work is a fascinating insight into the librarian’s life. You can catch this at Fruit on Friday 29 September at 3:30pm.

Afterwards, Black Roses – The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, will be shown. Poems by Simon Armitage will be read to remember Sophie, who was tragically killed in 2007 because of her appearance.

Meanwhile, children are highly encouraged to get involved with the literary festivities. On Saturday 30 September, there will be a children’s poetry workshop at Hull Central Library. This is an excellent opportunity for budding creatives and aspiring writers.

In addition to this, there’s a free Scratch Workshop on Sunday 1 October for those who want to try out new material and receive feedback in a safe space.

Hull Minster also plays host to a stunning performance from Kate Tempest. With support from her band, the spoken word heroine presents her fiery second solo album.

To draw the event to a close, The Unthanks bring the songs and poems of Molly Drake to Jubilee Church. This unmissable concert includes filmography and audiovisual work.

Contains Strong Language takes place across the city from Thursday 28 September until Sunday 1 October. Most events are completely free, but still ticketed. To browse through the full programme of events, please visit the BBC website.

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Published: Monday 25th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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