For the first time, Herefordshire has a Poet in Residence - Paul Henry. The residency has come about through a partnership between Poetry on Loan, Herefordshire Libraries and Ledbury Poetry Festival.
According to Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Artistic Director Chloe Garner, “Herefordshire’s reputation as a county of poetry and song is well deserved. Poet Laureate John Masefield lived here and Ledbury Poetry Festival is ‘poetry’s equivalent to Wimbledon or Glastonbury’. So this prestigious post celebrates Herefordshire’s many contributions to poetry and is long overdue.”
Described by the late U.A. Fanthorpe as a poet who combines “a sense of the music of words with an endlessly inventive imagination”, Paul Henry came to poetry through song writing and now combines the two, appearing at festivals across the Europe, the USA and Asia. Paul Henry has published five collections of poetry, most recently The Brittle Sea, New & Selected Poems.
Paul Henry’s first performance as Herefordshire’s Poet in Residence was at Leominster Library on Thursday 19 September. Future activities could include an event for the new Ledbury library, a workshop with either a community farm or a group of former apple growers and a National Libraries Day event in Hereford. The poet will also curate and perform in events for the Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Paul already has some familiarity with Herefordshire - he ran Ledbury Festival’s Poetry Cafe at Hereford’s Courtyard theatre and looks forward to working again with writers’ groups and students in the county. Currently living on the Welsh border, he has guest-edited ‘Poetry Wales’ and is a regular tutor at Ty Newydd, Wales’s national writers’ centre.
He has also written and presented a number of radio programmes, most recently Do Not Expect Applause, (BBC Radio 3), his celebration of the Scottish poet W.S. Graham, and Excusing Private Godfrey (BBC Radio 4), a tribute to the playwright and actor Arnold Ridley.
Poet’s web site: www.paulhenrywales.co.uk
Contact Chloe Garner, Ledbury Poetry Festival Artistic Director for further information on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01531634156