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The Poetry Swindon Festival begins next week – Friday September 23, 2016

Spitfires, a goblin circus and complete nonsense - it can only be the Poetry Swindon Festival.

29 September sees the start of the community festival, kicking off with Poems Aloud, hosted by Hilda Sheehan (we've heard the Mayor of Swindon will be in attendance, reading and bringing his big grin and enthusiasm for poetry, so we're feeling very grown up!).

On Saturday 1 October, Poetry Swindon celebrates the 100th anniversary of Dada, the influential ‘nonsense’ art movement, with anti-verse workshops and open mic with the Tin Women.

Dada is perfect for Poetry Swindon - silly with a serious message.

The festival’s Children’s Day (2 October) twists words with the mischief-making Goblin Circus, Plant-a-Story and the eccentric Imagination Museum.

On 3 October, the Spitfire - once made in Swindon 75 years ago for the second world war - is celebrated with flight-themed poems by North Swindon school children, a new Spitfire sculpture by artist and writer Mike Pringle, and readings from Sisters in Spitfires, a collection by poet Alison Hill.

We think we're Britain's friendliest and most fun poetry festival (maybe the world?). We've two fantastic poets-in-residence this year at the Big Poetry Weekend - Kim Moore and Andrew McMillan - who, as well as reading and leading workshops, have been asked to hang out with you our festival-goers. Do chat with them and buy them a drink.

We get all sensual through words with Carrie Etter, who leads a women-only erotic poetryworkshop on 7 October.

Our judge and guest poet at the Battered Moons poetry awards evening (8 October) this year is Radio 4 poet-in-residence Daljit Nagra. He also leads a masterclass on Sunday 9 October.

And there's tons more brilliant poets and poetry - Jean Atkin, Cliff Yates, Wendy Klein, Matthew Caley, Alison Brackenbury, Simon Kirwin, Quiet Compere, Angie Belcher, Kieran Davis, Cristina Newton, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Roy Marshall, Linda Black, Mona Arshi, Todd Swift, Keith Hutson, Andra Simons, Jonathan Edwards, Domestic Cherry, Elephant's Footprint, Maggie Harris, Geraldine Clarkson, Jacci Bulman, Susan Utting, the Valley Press Poets, Interpreter's House, Nine Arches Press and Poetry Wales.

The community element of Poetry Swindon Festival takes place 29 September to 5 October and the Big Poetry Weekend, beginning 6 October on National Poetry Day and finishing 9 October, is based at the Richard Jefferies Museum.

Most of the events at the Museum will be held in the Tent-Palace of the Delicious Air - inspired by a quote from The Open Air by Richard Jefferies. It's the kind of ridiculous name for a marquee you can expect from the Festival!

Many community events are free, and you can enjoy the whole Big Poetry Weekend with a Festival pass.

For more information, click here