Poetry Swindon
​​Poetry Swindon started in September 2008 as a group dedicated to helping poetry thrive in Swindon. Originally known as BlueGate Poets, its early meetings were in the sitting room of the Richard Jefferies Museum, with the name and logo inspired by the little arched gate of the old farm house. It seems fitting that the place is now our proper home.
Our mission at Poetry Swindon is simple: to encourage an appreciation of poetry. We do this by developing new audiences; encouraging all kinds of poetry to be written and read; and supporting people’s poetry interests in whatever way that works for them. We organize events and publications (including the festival), hopefully giving rise to new opportunities, and engaging an ever-growing number of people, of all ages and backgrounds.
At our heart we have a friendly ethos, welcoming all who read, perform, write, or engage in poetry in any way, and enhancing the life of poetry in Swindon. We’d love you to join in with us - enjoy more poetry, read more poetry, and be part of buzz that is Swindon’s poetry scene… it only exists because of you - our energized, passionate, and wonderful poetry people.​
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Poetry Swindon Festival 2018
Yes, we are already well under way for next year's festival plans...

​Put the dates in your diary - 4th to 8th October 2018

"Swindon! Where your poems turn into films & transform museum walls, where you perform in twinkling chequerboard tents, where sunsets bleed into fat moons while bonfires crackle with song."

Ben Bransfield (Primers: Volume 2, Nine Arches Press 2017)

For 2018 we are building an exciting line-up of poetry and community activity to bring us all together and leave us feeling inspired, happy and ready to read, write and listen to more!


Our resident poets for 2018 will be Clare Shaw and Nicholas McLachlan, with Jacob Sam Le Rose as judge and performer for Battered Moons during the festival. We have Debra Alma, The Emergency Poet, booked for all-day on Thursday 4th October, so make sure you get a dose of brilliant poetry to last all five wonderful days. Carrie Etter will be back with exciting editors to discuss your publishing dreams with: Tony Frazer of Shearsman and Laurie Smith, one of Magma Poetry's founders.

Clare Shaw was born in Burnley in 1972, and her poetry finds its roots in place and an uncompromising voice. Clare was described by the Arvon Foundation as "one of the country's most dynamic young poets". She has two collections from Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), which attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem; and Head On (2012), which is, according to the Times Literary Supplement: “fierce … memorable and visceral”. Her third collection will be published by Bloodaxe in 2018. 
She is also a mental health trainer, activist and author: recent publications include "Otis Doesn't Scratch: talking to young children about self-injury" (PCCS Books, 2015); and “Our Encounters with Self-Harm” (2013).

Nicholas McLachlan was born in Dublin and now lives in Ventry, Co Kerry from where he writes and teaches. His long-awaited first collection of poetry, The Rain Barrel, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015. The following year he was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. He was director of Dingle Writing Courses, which from 1996—2010 ran an annual programme of residential writing courses featuring tutors from Ireland, the UK and US.

Watch this space for updates!

​​The Poetry Swindon Team