top of page


... commissioned to create and curate a new 2-day poetry festival for Rainham in 2023

In 2023, Wordsmithery was commissioned by St Margaret's Church in Rainham to create and produce a new two-day poetry festival in Rainham. We managed and produced the first iteration of the Festival in 2023. 

A top lineup of poets over two days:

Wordsmithery was asked to create and programme a new 2-day poetry festival for Rainham in the early English gothic church of St Margaret's in Rainham.


Starting on Friday 28 April from 6pm; poets who performed were Charlotte Ansell, whose book ‘Deluge’ was a 2019 Poetry Book Society Winter recommendation, and Jessica Mookherjee, whose book ‘Tigress’ was shortlisted as best second collection in the Ledbury Munthe Prize in 2021. They were supporting poetry legend John Agard.

John is an internationally acclaimed poet, playwright, short story writer, and performer. In 2021, he was awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement for his outstanding contribution to literature, and has previously been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is studied on the National Curriculum in GSCE English. John appeared courtesy of Renaissance One. 

On Saturday 29 April, we had readings from the winners of Wordsmithery's 2022 Rosemary McLeish Poetry Prize, the topic was poems inspired by nature. Guest reader Jane Burn judged the prize and joined us. Jane is a multi-award-winning poet.  

This was followed by the 'Four Poets', a collective of Medway poets; Barry Fentiman Hall, the co-director of the festival, Maggie Harris who is an award-winning Guyanese poet, Sarah Hehir, poet, playwright and TV/radio writer for 'The Archers' and 'Doctors'. Bill Lewis, one of the original Medway Poets, completes the lineup.  

No booking required for this event, and it was free! 

*The church is fully accessible, and refreshments will be available to purchase on both days, as will books from the poets.

Venue: St Margaret's Church, High St, Rainham, Gillingham ME8 8AN

Dates: Friday 28 April and Saturday 29 April 2023. 

In association with Renaissance One

Supported by HooNess. 

bottom of page