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Welcome to the first day of the Festival!

You will find information on the writers and events below. 

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Poetry and presentations: 2-3pm.

Chatham Library, Dock Rd, Chatham ME4 4TX

The festival starts with a celebration of local creativity, with the launch event for Medway River Lit at Chatham Library, with Festival Patron Caroline Bird in attendance.


As part of the launch, the Estuary Sound Ark (a mass engagement co-commission on the estuary shores of Kent and Essex, exploring the sounds of the area,) will be welcomed to its permanent home at Chatham Library.


Poets who were involved in the Estuary Sound Ark project: festival co-directors, Barry Fentiman Hall and Sam Hall; Sarah Hehir; Sarah Tait; and Setareh Ebrahimi will read their poems, and Matthew Herbert from Creative Estuary/Accidental will introduce the project.


Refreshments will be available.

Free, book with Medway Libraries in person, phone 01634 337799, or via your SPYDUS account.

Chatham Library is fully accessible.

Nearest bus stop: Chatham bus station



POETRY: 3-5pm.

The Old High Street, Chatham Intra - Cafenetics to Eastgate House, Rochester

Local poets led by Festival Director Barry Fentiman Hall will set off on ‘Intra-Duction’.


In our ‘poetry crawl’ from Chatham to Rochester, we will be performing pop-up poetry in a range of unusual venues along Chatham Intra.


Full list of venues to be confirmed.


Poets performing on Intra-Duction are; Clair Meyrick, Zack Davies, Nigel Adams, Knuckles, Sarah L Dixon, David Dykes, Bethany Goodwill, and Jake Nathan.


Free, no need to book, just join the poetry crawl! 

Accessibility varies, please check with venue.

Nearest bus stop: Chatham bus station, stops along Intra


Kent Daydreams

SPOKEN WORD: 6-7.30pm.

Medway Adult Education, Community Hub, Eastgate, Rochester ME1 1EW

Kent Daydreams is our special event for younger poets aged 14-18, and their families.


Kent Daydreams will be presented by Sean Alayo and Nathaniel Oguns. In this relaxed atmosphere our young poets will have the chance to perform their words at our Festival!


Young people wishing to perform should DM @kentdreams on Instagram for a slot, though slots will also be available on the day.


Sean and Nathaniel present Kent Dreams, a popular regular open mic based in Rochester.

Free, book in advance via Instagram or Facebook to secure your slot.

Medway Adult Education is fully accessible.

Nearest bus stop: Rochester railway station


Caroline Bird

POETRY: 8-8.45pm.

Medway Adult Education, Community Hub, Eastgate, Rochester ME1 1EW

We are delighted to have Caroline Bird, the Patron of the Festival, performing on our launch day. Caroline is an acclaimed poet and playwright. 

Caroline has won prizes including The Forward Prize for best poetry collection in 2020 for The Air Year, and was also shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the Polari Prize. She was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2017, the Ted Hughes Award 2017, and the Dylan Thomas Prize twice in 2008 and 2010.


Caroline has had seven books of poetry published by Carcanet. Her Selected Poems, Rookie, was published in May 2022. 

Her poems and a commissioned short story, Sucking Eggs, have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3. She was one of the five official poets at London Olympics 2012.

Free, no booking required.

Medway Adult Education is fully accessible.

Nearest bus stop: Rochester railway station

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