4-5 June 2022

... a 2-day-long literary festival; doing Dickens with a twenty-first century twist

Wordsmithery has been commissioned by Medway Council to create and produce a two-day literary festival in Rochester Castle Moat to accompany the Jubilee Celebrations taking place in the castle.  See some of our writers and performers below! 

'Please sir, we want some more'

Building on the success of our one-day Dickens fringe festival 'Welcome to Cloisterham' last year; this year, we are programming an exciting line-up of prize-winning writers and musicians to perform for the Medway audience over the two days, in a relaxed literary fringe festival, some of our writers will be taking a good dollop of inspiration from Charles Dickens and the Victorian era, and we will be joined by Steampunk group Great Kentspectations, so feel free to wear your bonnet and bustle!

Our festival will have a relaxed fringe festival theme, with two main performance tents, the 'Raven' and 'Empty Chair' stages, plus activity tents in the moat. There will also be a bandstand outside of the Boley Hill carpark, and in the Kings Head carpark, we will have a steampunk market area.  

Saturday's line-up (see programme for performer biographies):

  • 11am                   ‘Be a Dickens Detective’: spot the missing object with Dr Jeremy Clarke of the Guildhall Museum (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 11.30am               Gerald Dickens (RAVEN)

  • 12 noon                2A-LTY (EMPTY CHAIR)  

  • 12.30pm               Thee Droods (RAVEN)

  • 1pm                      Bridget Nolan (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 1.30pm                 Sascha Aurora Akhtar (RAVEN)

  • 2pm                      Sarah Hehir (EMPTY CHAIR) 

  • 2.30pm                 Barry Fentiman Hall (RAVEN)

  • 3pm                      Spacegirl (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 3.30pm                 John McCullough (RAVEN)

Sunday's line-up (see programme for performer biographies):

  • 11am                     Wordsmithery poets:  Jon Terranova, Setareh Ebrahimi, SM Jenkin, and Rosemary McLeish Poetry Prize announcement (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 11.30am                Zack Davies (RAVEN)

  • 12 noon                Pauline Holmes (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 12.30pm               Orlando (RAVEN)

  • 1pm                      Helen Seymour (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 1.30pm                 Jessica Mookherjee (RAVEN)    

  • 2pm                      Nina Telegina (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 2.30pm                 Jah-Mir Early (RAVEN)                 

  • 3pm                       Gerald Dickens (EMPTY CHAIR)

  • 3.30pm                 Vanessa Kisuule (RAVEN)    

Plus pop-up activities for the young (and the young at heart) including: story walks, steampunk games, book swap (bring a book and exchange it for another), temporary tattoos, printing and dreamcatcher making workshops. 

(Our lovely raven, 'Grip IV' was created by Heather Haythornthwaite / The Hazelnut Press.)

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