A FEW WISE WORDS

4th, 5th & 6th September 2015 | The Secret Garden, Canterbury

Three days of Poetry, Music, Talks, Workshops, Walks, Wellbeing, Food, Drink, Stories and Performances for all ages

goodbutton

Events

Simon Armitage CBE

Poet, playwright and novelist 

Simon Armitage is a poet, playwright, novelist, lyricist and broadcaster, who writes extensively for television, radio and theatre. Armitage has won numerous awards, including a prestigious Ivor Novello Award and his new dramatic version of Homer’s Odyssey visits Shakespeare’s Globe this autumn. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.   

Events

George The Poet

He is by far the hippest poet in Britain

You may have heard him on Radio 1 or on Radio 1Xtra’s recent spoken word series; have  seen him on the BBCChannel 4 or Sky TV, blending poetry and rap to hypnotic effect.  George manages to be respected by both the youth in the inner city estates and professors at Cambridge University. Bridging these two very different worlds is an unusual and remarkable achievement.

Events

Jane Gardam OBE, FRSL

Author and Wise Words Festival Patron

 Jane is an award-winning author, and our Festival Patron. She has written extensively for both adults and younger readers. Jane was short-listed for the Booker Prize for Fiction, has won a Whitbread Novel Award; in 1999 was awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in recognition of a distinguished literary career and in 2014 was one of only two British writers to be shortlisted for the inaugural Folio Prize for literature.

Events

Heliosphere

 By The Dream Engine 

A magical spectacle after dark and in the sky above your heads. The Heliosphere sees an acrobat spiralling and spinning, seemingly weightless suspended beneath a helium balloon. With music and projections this magical piece explores the uncharted space between street level and rooftops, creating the illusion of flying, levitation and wonder.  A performance to inspire, mystify and enchant, which has wowed audiences all over the world.

Announcing the Grand Finale of this years Festival as the magical Heliosphere!

Heliosphere | Sunday 9pm | Canterbury's Secret Garden

The Dream Engine’s Heliosphere fuses dance, acrobatics, illuminations and music to bring magic and wonder to the sky above your head. Spiralling and spinning and seemingly weightless, an acrobat suspended beneath a vast helium balloon explores the uncharted space between earth and sky. This is an aerial show to enchant and amaze, inspire and mystify. A fitting finale for a weekend of wonder.

Sushi and Vintage Cocktails to tantalise your taste buds!

Mister Miyagi’s is the only place in Canterbury serving fresh, handmade, authentic sushi and they are bringing it to A Few Wise Words. Of course there is raw fish – high grade, super fresh and selected for flavour and texture – but if that’s not to your taste then there is also a selection including cooked fillings and plenty of vegetarian options. The Old Fashioned Cocktail Co will be serving scrumptious cocktails from a converted vintage horse-box from 6pm.

Find Out More HERE

The Programme at a glance…

For more detailed programme and to book tickets click HERE

 

11:00 am – 11:30 am & 2pm –  2:30pm

Frantic | Acrojou

Street Theatre | High Street, Canterbury | FREE

Love, freedom, blood, sweat and rain-storms: Frantic is an explosive and moving exploration of our relentless devotion to busyness. Acrobatics and dance-theatre choreographed around a bespoke structure, Frantic uses a rich physical language to pull apart its subject – the reality of a running mind and one man’s thirst for escape.

 


 

3:00pm – 5:00pm

Kent Festivals Network gathering

For Festival Producers | Garden Tent | Booking Essential

An opportunity for Kent-based festival producers to come together to share experiences and to explore opportunities for collaboration.

 


 

4:00pm – 5:00pm

A Master-Class with Simon Armitage

Open to Wise Words Festival’s young Word Out! poets | The Franciscan Chapel | FREE

Word Out! is a group of young poets (14-26) who are connected to Wise Words – supporting the festival in its ambition to increase the number of people who engage with and enjoy poetry.

 

 

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Wise Words announces the Canterbury Laureate 2015-2016

The Garden Tent | £5

We are delighted to have been asked to take over the development and running of the Canterbury Laureate Programme from Canterbury Festival and are looking forward to announcing this year’s Poet Laureate. Join us for a celebratory drink and a few wise words from our new Canterbury Laureate.

 


 

6:45 pm – 7:30pm

Gentlemen of Few 

The Garden Tent / £5 

Gentlemen of Few are a four piece Bluegrass-Folk band from Kent. They’ve played sell-out shows at the Astor Theatre, Marlowe Theatre, the Garage London and  travel the UK festival circuit playing at Boomtown, Secret Garden Party, Beverley Folk Festival, Lounge on the Farm, and Smugglers Festival to name but a few. Their set contains a mixture of originals and covers and takes influences from a broad range of artists and genres such as The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bob Dylan and Tallest Man on Earth. 

 


 

8:00pm – 9:00pm

Simon Armitage | Walking Away

The Garden Tent | £10

The poet swaps the moorland uplands of the north (Walking Home) for the coastal fringes of Britain’s south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish. Simon tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we’ve come to expect of one of Britain’s best loved and most popular writers. Followed by a book signing.

 


 

9:30pm – 10:30pm & 11:00pm – 12:00am

Lamplighters

The Franciscan Chapel | £10

As night falls on the 13th Century Franciscan Chapel, it  becomes flooded with the lights and colours of the past and the sounds of the present. For the first time, musicians Richard Navarro (vocals, instruments, loops) and Nicholas Thurston (double bass) perform with magic lanternists Jeremy and Carolyn Brooker with songs covering Kent, the coastline and the cosmos set to images from the Brookers’ beautiful and historic collection. An extraordinary live show to fire the senses and stir the imagination.

 

 

9:30am – 10:30am

Journal Writing Session with John Siddique

Water Lane Coffeehouse, Canterbury | Free

Writing in a journal each morning can have a profoundly positive effect on our personal and creative growth as well as our emotional wellbeing. John invites you to join him for coffee and his morning Journal Writing session. No previous writing experience necessary. Bring a notebook and a pen.

 


 

10:30am – 12:00pm

Anthony Anaxagorou | Poetry Workshop

The Garden Tent | £5

Anthony Anaxagorou is a poet & writer from North London and an exceptional young spoken word performer and thought leader of our times. He is a self taught and contemplative philosopher who believes in the power of poetry to change the way we think and feel about each other and the world. He was recently featured on Radio 1Xtra and he is the founder of Out-Spoken – one of London’s premier monthly events for poetry and live music. 

 


 

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Midday Music | Artist TBC

The Garden Tent | Free

Bring a sandwich or enjoy the food we have on offer in the beautiful surroundings of Canterbury’s Secret Garden whilst listening to enchanting music from local musicians.

 


 

1:00pm – 1:30pm

The Procession of the Jumblies

The Secret Garden | Free

Bring your little ones to the workshops taking place during the morning to create puppets so that they can take part in the Procession of the Jumblies . The procession will start in the Land of the Jumblies where each child will be issued with their passport before journeying across the 4 continents and ending back safely in the Secret Gardens.  If you haven’t had a chance to create a puppet in the morning you can still come along for the journey. 

 

 


 

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Poetry Slam 

The Garden Tent | Free

 Words will fly as poets take to the stage to share their finest performances in the hope of attracting your votes and ultimately becoming crowned the winner of the Poetry Slam. Fun, fast paced and a chance to see aspiring local talent on the same stage as some of the biggest names. 


 

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Patrick Cockburn | Islamic State and the Spreading War in the Middle East

Talk | The Garden Tent | £5

Patrick Cockburn was awarded Foreign Reporter of the Year at the 2015 Press awards and is currently the Foreign Correspondent for The Independent. Patrick will be sharing his recent experience of travelling to and reporting from the Middle East. 

 


 

 

4:15pm – 5:00pm

A City Of Foxes 

A spoken-word show by Becci Fearnley | The Garden Tent | £5

Durga is British. She loves football, listens to the Beatles and eats fish and chips. (Ok, her Sunday best is a sari and she doesn’t think Korma is a real curry, but that’s just her). Martha, the old lady next door, is determined that Durga isn’t wanted here and, for the first time, Durga begins to question whether the ground under her feet is really ‘home’.  Suddenly they are both caught in an age old struggle over place, race and purpose. So, a mixed race teenager and a lonely old woman must learn to co-exist…and it’s not going to be pretty.

 


 

5:10pm – 5:50pm

A Literary Cocktail River Tour

Canterbury Punting Company, Water Lane, Stour Street | £15 to include cocktails

The Old Fashioned Cocktail Co will create scrumptious literary inspired taster cocktails  to be enjoyed whilst you drift down the river and enjoy the beautiful countryside or historic sites of the city. Tours last 40 minutes.

 


 

5:15pm – 5:45pm

Music

 


 

6:00pm – 6:40pm

Anthony Anaxagorou

The Garden Tent | £5

Anthony Anaxagorou is an acclaimed poet, prose writer, playwright, performer and educator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, a spoken word EP, a book of short stories as well as writing for theatre. He was recently featured on Radio 1Xxtra and his poetry has appeared on BBC Youth Nation, BBC Newsnight, the British Urban Film Awards, BBC 6 Music and been performed by Cirque du Soleil.

 


 

7:00pm – 7:40pm

George Ogilvie

The Garden Tent, The Secret Garden | £5

 Singer Songwriter George Ogilvie has played at the Pop-Up Hotel at Glastonbury Festival, Supported Gabrielle Aplin at the O2 Academy in Newcastle, his single “Give” was featured on the KFC Christmas Advertisement throughout the festive season. George is on of Canterbury’s rising stars.

 


8:00pm – 9:00pm

George The Poet 

The Garden Tent | £10

He is the by far the hippest poet in Britain. You may have heard him on Radio 1 or on Radio 1Xtra’s recent spoken word season; have  seen him on the BBCChannel 4 or Sky TV, blending poetry and rap to hypnotic effect. Some of his poems have received up to and over 50,000 hits on Youtube and Vimeo, twice as many as the Poet Laureate.
 And that’s where 24 year-old George Mpanga, who performs as George the Poet, has broken new ground in startling fashion. He has brought poetry to a new generation. He has changed the stereotyped image of the poet, showing that it can be relevant outside the classroom, it can be exciting, it can be moving, it can be funny, it can be visual, it can be a gig.

George manages to be respected by both the youth in the inner city estates and professors at Cambridge University. Bridging these two very different worlds is an unusual and remarkable achievement. 

 



  

Across The Day

Wrapped around the events above will be a number of activities, workshops, performances and opportunities to engage with poetry, words and storytelling in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Below are just a few of the opportunities on offer but do come along and enjoy the gardens and what’s on offer across the weekend.

 

10:00am – 1:00pm

Workshops for children and families

Land of the Jumblies | £5 each

Taking its inspiration from Edward Lear’s The Jumblies, our family area will offer children and the young at heart, a journey into the imagination. Puppet, headdress and lantern making workshops will run all morning.

 


 

10:00am – 6:00pm

Reflexology & Wellbeing

The Tipi | 30 mins £10

This year A Few Wise Words offers you recuperation and rejuvenation through reflexology treatments and quiet places to sit, relax and enjoy green tea alone or with friends. Reflexology can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, increase energy levels and alleviate sleeping disorders. It can also work as a preventative therapy and to help to stimulate creativity and productivity.

 


 

10:00am – 6:00pm

The Poetry Exchange

The Franciscan Chapel | Free

The Poetry Exchange celebrates the power of poetry in our everyday lives. You are invited to visit us and share a poem that has been a friend to you. We will have a cup of tea, talk about your poem and in exchange for your nomination you will receive a gift: a personal bespoke recording of your chosen poem inspired by the conversation and your thoughts. People are invited to come individually and sessions last a maximum of 45 minutes.

 


 

12:30pm – 4:00pm

Storytelling on the Punts 

Canterbury Punting Company, Water Lane, Stour Street | Free

Float downstream and let the babbling river and cooing moorhens become the soundscape to a world of stories. From folktales and wondertales to myths and legends, Emily Hennessey weaves a new set of stories through the reeds with every journey.  

 


 

11:00am – 4:00pm 

Pop Up Poetry 

Along the High Street and the Kings Mile | Free

Words will fly as poets compete in a battle of words to win your votes to be crowned the king or queen of the street slam. Watch out for the poets popping up on the streets and in coffeehouses across the weekend.

 


09:00am – 10:30am

Journeys | The Canterbury Yarners  

The Franciscan Chapel | Free

Six writers in sixty minutes invite you to come and enjoy short readings and to take part in discussion around how the theme of ‘journeys’ has influenced and inspired their work. There will be a break for chat, coffee and freshly baked croissant. 


 

9:30am – 11:30am

Authentic Living | John Siddique

A Guided Meditation | The Tipi | £5

Imagine being free to be truly yourself, to be able to live life without masks, while being powerful, responsive, and centred in grace in every situation you find yourself in. This is authentic living. Familial and societal programming over the course of our lives creates a separation in us which stops us accessing our innate potential. 

 


 11:00am – 11:45

紙芝居 Kamishibai: Tokaido Road

A small box theatre show | The Yurt -Land of The Jumblies  | £3

The Kamishibai story-teller rode from village to village on a bicycle carrying a small box theatre. Inside the box were pictures, withdrawn one by one to illustrate the story. Inside our box is the story of Hiroshige the artist and his travels along the Tōkaidō Road illustrated by large paper prints of Hiroshige’s own beautiful and iconic woodblocks to set the scenes. Kamishibai Tōkaidō Road is suitable for all ages.


 

11:00am – 12:30pm

Morning Coffee & Cake with Jane Gardam

The Garden Tent | £5

Festival Patron Jane Gardam invites you to join her for morning coffee during which she will read from her latest book The Stories and discuss short stories as a literary form. Followed by a book signing.  Jane has achieved much critical acclaim during her career, such as the Heywood Hill Literary Prize, for a lifetimes contribution to literature, and two Whitebread Awards. In 2014 Jane was one of only two British authors to be shortlisted to the prestigious inaugural Folio Prize.

 


 

11:00am – 12:30pm

Foraging Walk | Jo Barker

The Secret Garden | £7.50 for walk & picnic lunch

Our out-door natural larder is full of exciting discoveries for our table and to cure minor ailments – experienced forager, Jo Barker will take you on your own journey into the world of foraging. This events will be followed by an opportunity to join us to share and sample what you collect during a scrumptious picnic lunch in our Tipi.

 


 

1:00pm – 1:30pm

Procession of the Jumblies

The Secret Garden | Free

Bring your little ones to the workshops taking place during the morning to create puppets so that they can take part in the Procession of the Jumblies . The procession will start in the Land of the Jumblies where each child will be issued with their passport before journeying across the 4 continents and ending back safely in the Secret Gardens.

 


 

2:30pm – 3:15pm

紙芝居 Kamishibai: Tokaido Road

A small box theatre show | The Garden Tent | £3

The Kamishibai story-teller rode from village to village on a bicycle carrying a small box theatre. Inside the box were pictures, withdrawn one by one to illustrate the story. Inside our box is the story of Hiroshige the artist and his travels along the Tōkaidō Road illustrated by large paper prints of Hiroshige’s own beautiful and iconic woodblocks to set the scenes. Kamishibai Tōkaidō Road is suitable for all ages.

 


 

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Map of Me 

A spoken-word show | The Garden Tent | £5 

From baking African deserts to the snow angels of a UK winter, this emotional and heartfelt journey reveals a compelling story of forced migration. Map of Me explores how a displaced child finds a sense of self and belonging, in a moving and uplifting show written from real-life experiences of young asylum seekers. 

 

 


  

5:30pm – 6:40pm

Kali| Emily Hennessy

A storytelling performance | The Garden Tent | £5

 

 Kali is one of the wildest shape-shifters of all. Demon-slayer, Life-saver, Supreme-Mother, Destruction-dancer, this goddess is truly Awesome. When an evil power spreads its clawed hands across the world, Kalis time has come. Join Emily Hennessey for a white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed palaces, fiend-infested forests and every cacophonous saffron-scented marketplace inbetween. For all ages 

 


  

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Xanthe Gresham Knight | Paradise Bride

A storytelling performance | The Garden Tent | £5

To the Celts, Brigit was everything, Goddess of fire, healing and poetry. But where is she now?

In search of Her, performance storyteller, Xanthe Gresham knight journeys through the sacred sights and stories of Scotland, Ireland and much further afield, but life being multi-media, Brigit finally crashes though a computer screen and arrives as a mail order bride. Whether you walk on the grass or on the pavement loving the land starts with loving the stories it holds.

 


 

8:00pm – 8:30pm

Lantern Parade

For all the family | The Secret Garden | Free

Guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of every adult, collect your lanterns and light up the magical gardens as and your little ones wind your away through the enchanted Secret Gardens as dusk begins to fall.  


 

8:00pm – 9:00pm

Tōrō nagashi (灯籠流し) and a Wish for Peace

Join us for this hauntingly beautiful sight as candle-lit lanterns are set afloat – carrying our hopes for peace. 

2015 marks 70 years since the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima during world war 2 killing over 90,000 civilians and soldiers. Inspired by events around the world marking this 70 year anniversary, we will to create a ‘Wish for Peace’ version of Tōrō nagashi at A Few Wise Words.  The ceremony is also used to remember historic events not only in Japan but throughout the world. To participate and release a lantern is 50p. 

 

 


 

9pm – 9:30pm

The Dream Engine – Heliosphere

The Secret Garden | £10

Spiralling and spinning and seemingly weightless, an acrobat suspended beneath a helium balloon explores the uncharted space.  A spectacle to inspire, mystify and enchant.

 



 

Across The Day

Wrapped around the events above will be a number of activities, workshops, performances and opportunities to engage with poetry, words and storytelling in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Below are just a few of the opportunities on offer but do come along and enjoy the gardens and what’s on offer across the weekend.

10:00am – 1:00pm

Workshops for children and families 

Land of the Jumblies | £5 each 

Taking its inspiration from Edward Lear’s The Jumblies, our family area will offer children and the young at heart, a journey into the imagination. Puppet, headdress and lantern making workshops will run all morning.

  


 

10:00am – 6:00pm

Reflexology & wellbeing

The Tipi | 30 mins £10

This year A Few Wise Words offers you recuperation and rejuvenation through reflexology treatments and quiet places to sit, relax and enjoy green tea alone or with friends. Reflexology can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, increase energy levels and alleviate sleeping disorders. It can also work as a preventative therapy and to help to stimulate creativity and productivity.

 


 

10:00am – 4:00pm

Storytelling on the Punts 

Canterbury Punting Company, Water Lane, Stour Street | Free

Float downstream and let the babbling river and cooing moorhens become the soundscape to a world of stories. From folktales and wondertales to myths and legends, Emily Hennessey weaves a new set of stories through the reeds with every journey.  

 


 

11:00am – 4:00pm

Pop Up Poetry 

Along the High Street and the Kings Mile | Free

Words will fly as poets compete in a battle of words to win your votes to be crowned the king or queen of the street slam. Watch out for the poets popping up on the streets and in coffeehouses across the weekend.

 


 

12:00pm – 9:00pm

Raku firing

The Secret Garden | Various costs depending on item chosen

Paint a bowl and watch the magic as it transforms through the process of being fired in our outdoor kiln – a beautiful gift to take home. Suitable for all ages.  

 

 

A Few Wise Words Festival

 

The Secret Garden
Stour Street
Canterbury 
Ct1 2NR

Supported by:

Events
Events
Events
Events
Events