Derwent Poetry Festival at Masson Mill

The 2012 Derwent Poetry Festival is being launched on Friday at Masson Mill in Matlock Bath.

It is a unique opportunity to hear excellent new poetry by poets from across the British Isles reading live from their latest work.

The festival, in its sixth year, starts at 6pm on Friday November 16 and runs until 3pm on Sunday November 18 and publishes and launches collections alongside writing workshops and talks.

Eight writers – including Christopher James, Jo Haslam, Erin Halliday, Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton, Nancy Gaffield, and Matthew Stephenson – will be reading alongside poets from across the British Isles launching the 2012 Templar Poetry anthology.

Two writing workshops, led by Pat Winslow and Maggie O’Dwyer, are available over the weekend and Worcester poet Michael Woods will also be presenting a talk on the life, work and innovations of Gerard Manley Hopkins accompanied by a workshop examining a selection of his poems in critical detail.

Derbyshire poet Jane Weir will present a reading and talk about the influence of wartime experience on the creative work of the modernist textile designers and makers, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher on Saturday at 2.15pm and Damian Smyth from Northern Ireland will be the main Saturday evening guest poet.

His poetry collections are Downpatrick Races (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2000); The Down Recorder (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2004); Lamentations (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2010) and Market Street (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2010). Recent anthologies in which his work is represented include The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland (Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University Press, 2008), The Watchful Heart (Galway, Salmon Publishing, 2009), The Ulster Anthology (Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 2006) and The Blackbird’s Nest (Belfast, Blackstaff Press/QUB, 2006).

He has also written a stage play, Soldiers of the Queen, which was premiered in Downpatrick, 2002 and later staged at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, and on tour. It is published by Lagan Press, 2002.

For more details and the price of tickets for the workshops and main events go to

Damian Smyth, the guest poet on Saturday evening.