THE new Kirkby Lonsdale Poetry Festival will feature famous YouTube poet Savannah Brown and Barrow-based rapper-producer duo Swerve and JD. 

The festival is to take place across the town over the weekend of August 12-14. The line-up also includes Barrow poet Kim Moore, who has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize 2022. 

The Westmorland Gazette: Barrow based Kim Moore will be performingBarrow based Kim Moore will be performing

The festival director Matt Sowerby is a 21-year-old from Kirkby Lonsdale who has performed in the House of Parliament. 

The festival will focus on the political power of poetry. It will begin with a workshop on 'Poetry as Protest' and end with a panel on 'Cumbria, Poetry and the Climate Crisis.' The event will also fundraise to save Ruskin's View from collapse. 

While forward-looking, the festival will also be celebrating our poetic heritage. Local actor Duncan Lindsay will star in 'The Keats Project'-two plays about the poet John Keats. It will be performed in local bars Avanti and The Snooty Fox. 

The Westmorland Gazette: Matt Sowerby has lived in Kirkby Lonsdale for fifteen yearsMatt Sowerby has lived in Kirkby Lonsdale for fifteen years

A 'relay' of readings by local poets will take place in The Book Lounge and volunteers will perform for the elderly at The Fairbank Society. 

Writing workshops will take place in the Methodist Church on everything from 'Voice and Performance,' 'Blackout Poetry' and 'Sensory Experience.'