About the Festival

The Wise Words Festival takes place across ten days each spring and offers a programme of thought provoking talks, walks, music, performances and poetry.

The heart of the Wise Words festival lies in Canterbury’s Secret Garden, belonging to the Franciscan Friars – an unexpected haven just a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Thought provoking talks, music, performances, storytelling and poetry take place in a beautiful yurt, tents and in the ancient Franciscan Chapel.  From here activity spills out across the city – onto the streets, in gardens, in coffeehouses and even on the river.

You may stumble across a poet performing whilst you pay for your morning coffee; a storyteller on a punt; lines of verse appearing in shop windows or performance poets on street corners battling for your votes to become the king or queen of the street slam.

“Wise Words has its heart in the stars and its feet firmly on the ground” Lemn Sissay OBE