Become a friend of Wise Words

Your friendship means the world to us

We feel incredibly lucky to have received such generous support from our funders since we first started in 2012. But each year we begin the process of applying for funding from scratch. Funding bodies and organisations require us to raise a minimum of 10% cash from other sources before we are even able to apply. As a small team, this eats up a large chunk of our time that could be spent on supporting the development of local artists and creating a stronger and more exciting festival.

Each year you so kindly demonstrate your belief in what we do by donating to our fundraising schemes but this year a few of you asked if you could spread your support across the year, making it easier for you to plan and giving us a more stable income that will allow us to extend our work around developing talented young poets.

Support from you, our audience, shows our funders how much the festival and our work means to you, hugely strengthening any application we make. But we also want to show you how much your support means to us…

From us to you

How often do you get a letter that is not a bill or a leaflet promoting delivery pizza?

Letters are for friends. They’re tactile, they’re personal, they hold secrets in their bellies and whisper words on paper tongues. They’re for mementos, they’re for lovers, they’re for keeping.

Each month a beautiful letter will drop through your door containing a poem written especially for you. Each poem will be draw its inspiration from the season, encouraging you to take a moment out of your busy life to pause and take notice, to be a little more mindful, and  a little more connected to what’s happening outside. 

As a Friend we will also invite you into the festival fold:

  1. sharing inside information about our Secret Sets – giving you the chance to be at the front of the queue
  2. giving you the option to buy festival tickets before they go on general release
  3. inviting you and a friend to our Festival Launch event on the evening of Friday the 28th April where you will be treated to a special performance and a glass or two of bubbles
  4. sending you invitations to special previews of the performances, events and activities we hold across the year

Become a Friend of Wise Words today

We work with Local Giving who process donations safely and securely through their accredited payment providers. They are also able to claim Gift Aid on our behalf.  

Localgiving’s mission is to strengthen UK communities by safeguarding the sustainability of social enterprises. 


We work hard throughout the year to bring a festival rich in wonder and curiosity to hidden, unusual and engaging spaces around Canterbury, and are immensely grateful for all your support; thank you in advance for becoming a Friend of the festival, for helping us to support the development of young poets and for making Wise Words Canterbury’s literary and musical gem at the heart of the city.

The difference your Friendship will make to a young persons life

Through joining our Friend Scheme and becoming an official Friend of the festival, you will be directly supporting Rough Cut, our mentoring scheme for young local poets. 

Emerging poets between the ages of 16-30 can apply to be mentored by Wise Words. The support we offer varies depending on the needs and aspirations of each young person but our aim is to support them as they move towards making poetry a career. Alongside developing their own work these young poets stay connected to festival and work with us on producing events that will bring young audiences to Wise Words.

“Writing literally saved my life. When everything was falling apart, I found my escape in pages of poetry and found love in words. I could easily have drowned myself in drink or taken up drugs but instead found a way to express myself through writing. 

The Wise Words team have helped me develop as an artist, a poet, and a person. Their guidance and assistance has pushed me further than I would ever have been able to reach alone. The festival has shown me amazing writers to aspire to and has provided me with workshops and shows that have inspired and created deep wonder within my soul. 

Had I not had the chance of working with Wise Words, I would probably have stopped writing altogether. I owe them the path that I walk along now; all past and future events I create all stem from their belief in me now and I can never thank them enough.” Alex Vellis