A CELEBRATION of poetry and the spoken word will take place in Coventry when the BBC Contains Strong Language launches next Thursday and runs until the Sunday, September 23 to 26.
The event – for all the family to enjoy – was first launched in 2017, running successfully in Hull before taking residence in Cumbria.
Contains Strong Language 2021 is being delivered by the BBC, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Writing West Midlands and Nine Arches Press, and is supported by Arts Council England, the British Council, Creative Lives and Jerwood Arts.
The programming this year draws on aspects that have come through from Coventry’s City of Culture key themes, such as green cities and international connections.
The event is also being informed and inspired by the city’s fascinating history, culture and environment.
The idea of Coventry as an urban environment with bountiful green, natural spaces helped create both the Re:Versing the Sherbourne and Green City projects.
The Postcard Poems project came about through themes suggested by local poets, event organisers and writers who highlighted Coventry’s longstanding relationship with its twin cities.
Through its performers and workshops the festival will bring a multitude of stories together – whether about historic lives or hidden rivers – out onto the streets, stages and pages for all the family to enjoy.
A group of 16 poets from Coventry and the Midlands are included in the programme and venues vary from London Road Cemetery and Charterhouse Park to FarGo, The Belgrade Theatre and Coventry Caribbean centre.
Highlights for festival-goers include poetry on prescription ‘dispensed’ at the Belgrade’s pop-up Poetry Pharmacy and free poetry to take away from the FarGo forecourt. Mobile app Overhear amplifies the River Sherbourne with a digital poetry trail, free to download at www.theoverhear.app while walking tours and hands-on workshops along the riverbank will provide participants with the opportunity to appreciate the inherent poetry streaming along its riverbed.
For young hip-hop fans, Plot 17 platforms Kenny Baraka and his DJ in an interactive performance for children aged seven to 11.
Elsewhere, City of Coventry Brass Band has teamed up with local poet Olga Dermott-Bond to celebrate the rich heritage of the group, formed in 1965, in a unique collaboration bringing together the two artforms culminating in a performance at Coombe Abbey Country Park.