Permaculture at Cheltenham Poetry Festival

Permaculture magazine
Tuesday, 12th April 2016

Permaculture poet, Helen Moore, is among the long list of performers at the prestigious Cheltenham Poetry Festival.

Permaculture poet Helen Moore is reading from her latest collection, Ecozoa (published by Permanent Publications at the prestigious Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2016. 

Helen is an ecopoet, socially engaged artist and Forest School practitioner and Ecozoa has received acclaim from John Kinsella, one of Australia’s leading literary figures, a lauded poet, novelist, critic, essayist and editor, and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge: “ Ecozoa is nothing less than a declaration of nature’s independence, a manifesto for human engagement that is inclusive, respectful and aware of the impact all of us make in our day-to-day lives on the earth’s living body. In Moore is a feminist-Ginsberg-channelling-Blake – a voice we need, a voice that will not be silenced by vested interests. Though deeply crafted, these poems are no mere ornaments for our consumption… there’s a terrible beauty that needs to be understood as an affirmation of all existence. If the poems hold to account, the book offers us a means of healing – it is a milestone in the journey of ecopoetics.”

The festival has a fantastic mix of music, poetry, comedy, stand-up, film, slams and workshops lined up for 2016, and it is great to see permaculture appearing alongside this mixture. 

Here are some of the festival's highlights: Christopher Somerville – Walking Correspondent of The Times and poet – leads you into the wild. They launch our poetry cinema programme with a ravishing black and white visit to a bygone time in a showing of 1962 by Diana Taylor. Dr Paul Innes transports us to the days of the Roman Empire in a talk about Shakespeare’s Roman plays. Kim Fleet delves into the seamier side of 18th Century Cheltenham, and Cheltenham Poet in Residence Angela France celebrates the town’s anarchic and revolutionary spirit. 

Also on the menu is best-selling author David Elder, who offers a preview of his new Tennyson-inspired play; and you can take a trip to 20th Century Ireland when acclaimed poet Nigel McLoughlin talks about WB Yeats and Gerry and Esther Smyth perform haunting settings of James Joyce’s sequence of poems Chamber Music. We also welcome novelist Samantha Harvey “this generation’s Virginia Woolf” (Daily Telegraph), who pairs up with Faber New Poet, Jack Underwood, to explore the nature of memory. The Independent’s columnist Rosie Millard leads us through the London suburbs in her saucy romp The Square. And internationally acclaimed poet George Szirtes reads work inspired by folk stories, European history and his life in Hungary.

The festival is also delighted to welcome “National Treasure”, radio DJ, television presenter, “pop professor” and best-selling author Stuart Maconie to the festival to talk about his love of poetry and read work by iconic British poets such as W.H.Auden and Philip Larkin.

As ever, we have a great line-up of contemporary poets, alongside our own Helen Moore there are Todd Swift, Carrie Etter, Rhian Edwards, David Clarke, Angela France, Pete Mullineaux, Graham Burchell, Linda Black and Sarah James, plus comedy from Angie Belcher, story-telling from The Bard of Windmill Hill, Wyton’s Wisdom from Peter Wyton and the legendary performance-poetry Slam.

As “the writers’ festival”, they also offer a wealth of workshops to inspire your poems and help you hone your craft. Highlights this year include workshops and talks on Beating Writer’s Block, Self-Publishing and how writing prose fuels your poetry. Tutors include David Clarke, Kim Fleet, Graham Burchell and Matt Black. 

Full listings and booking details are here: