VERVE BIRMINGHAM SCHOOLS SLAM FINAL: Hosted by Spoz Poet

Patrick Studio

Opening #VERVE2023 is our second Birmingam Schools Slam Final! We’ve invited fifteen local Primary Schools to bring a team of their best poets to this exciting competition hosted and facilitated by Brummie gem and VERVE Poetry Press poet Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito! But there’s more! Our judges will consist of two local poets well versed (get […]

£5.00

VERVE Poetry Night Special – Spoken Word and Music Night hosted by Sam J Grudgings

Patrick Studio

Introducing the festival special of our quarterly VERVE Poetry Night, with all its usual fun, energy and bombast, its plentiful featured poets and its numerous open mic slots.Joining regular host Sam J Grudgings are poetry powerhouses, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Muneera Pilgrim, Kirsty Taylor and Malaika Kegode. And this wouldn’t be a special without the special addition […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Helen Calcutt Workshop – Owning it

Workshop Room 1

‘Why not say what happened?’ – Robert Lowell Drawing on themes from her next collection, Helen’s workshop will encourage you to write honestly from life’s experiences, and see them as the power within you – not the pain. So often we see trauma and struggle through the lens of grief. But, creatively – especially through […]

£12.50 – £16.50

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan Workshop: Writing as Resistance

Workshop Room 2

Join Suhaiymah in a workshop where we will consider the power of writing as resistance. In this time of worldwide violence and oppression as the consequences of capitalism, racism, misogyny, militarism, hostile environments and more, resistance feels urgent and necessary, but it can also be difficult and overwhelming to know where to start. In this […]

£12.50 – £16.50

Helen Mort Workshop: Metaphors We Live By: finding themes and images that inspire you

Workshop Room 1

Helen Mort's latest collection The Illustrated Woman (2022) uses the metaphor of tattooing to explore the agency we have over our bodies and the difference between how we want to be seen and how others may see us. In this workshop we will look at how successful metaphor and similies can do more than just […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Will Harris Workshop: Sounds of Words / Words of Sounds

Workshop Room 2

A communal workshop playing with - and stretching - the links between objects, words and sounds, in which we'll share stories, listen closely to things, and stay as close as we can to the non-sense within. A workshop to enjoy with the Forward First Book Award winning author of RENDANG (Granta, 2020).

£16.50 – £22.50

Friday Night Headline Event: Jay Gao, Will Harris, Denise Saul

Patrick Studio

Our regular Friday evening poetry headline event features three incredible contempory poets. Edinburgh born US based Jay Gao’s debut full collection Imperium (Carcanet, 2022) follows his New Poetry Prize-winning pamphlet Katabsis. Will Harris’ debut collection RENDANG (Granta, 2020) won the Forward First Book Award and his follow-up Brother Poem will be available to purchase early […]

£4.50 – £6.50

VERVE Poetry Film Night

Patrick Studio

This year we are having our first poetry film night at VERVE! What's better than sitting in the dark with your feet up being drawn into the visual masterpieces that await you as a result of our December 2022 open call? We can't wait for this new event at VERVE and hope you will join […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Helen Mort Young Person’s Workshop: Having Fun With Poetry (13-19)

Workshop Room 1

It’s easy to get bogged down in metaphors and punctuation, poetic form and technique. So in this workshop with Helen Mort, we’ll simply be having fun with poetry. Helen will offer poems, prompts and ideas for returning to the joy of writing and reading poetry. You’ll leave the session with some new work and some […]

Free

Jennifer Wong Workshop: Writing Mothers

Workshop Room 2

What do we talk about when we talk about mothers? How does one begin to articulate one's closeness or distance with the mother, and the changing identities and understanding? In this workshop, participants will get to explore new directions in their writing by addressing the complexity and contradictions of mothers or about motherhood. The creative […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Poetry Society Young Poets Takeover: incl young person’s open mic!

Patrick Studio

The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Takeovers are a space for up-and-coming young poets and performers to meet one another and share their work on stage. This Takeover will be hosted by Aliyah Begum, and feature headline sets from muliptle YPN Challenge winner and University of Birmingham alumni Emily Breeds and Birmingham based YPN Challenge commended […]

Free

All Day Open Mic

Podium Event Space

A dedicated space where anyone can share their poetry - whether you've just written it in a workshop or been sitting on it for years, we want to hear it! Hosted by Spoz.

Free

Scarlett Ward Workshop – A monster in the shape of a woman: poetic retellings of mythological female figures

Workshop Room 1

A poetry writing workshop that examines the presentation of women figures in retellings of mythology. From witches to goddesses, female archetypes have served to perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes and dictate the behaviour of women throughout history. In this workshop, we will explore how myths and legends can be utilised to prompt and colour our understandings of, […]

£12.50 – £16.50

Fourth Verve Poetry Performance Lecture – Nick Makoha

Patrick Studio

What do you know about Basquiat? What do you know about Icarus? What do you know about the Entebbe hijacking in 1976? In this year’s Performance-Lecture, Nick Makoha fuses these seemingly disparate sources and events into poems in a new piece based around his recent work A Low-Pressure System, which won the Ivan Juritz Prize. […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Kathy Pimlott Workshop – Making the Everyday Sing

Workshop Room 2

In this generative workshop we’ll look at how very familiar everyday material – kitchen utensils, shops, routine tasks – can become the launchpad into meditations on love, life, death and everything in between. Poems by poets including Vicki Feaver, Louise Glück and Helen Dunmore will prompt the beginnings of our own new work as reading, […]

£12.50 – £16.50

Harana Poetry LIVE hosted by Kostya Tsolakis

Patrick Studio

What would a poetry magazine look like if it was put on a stage? Well, this year we have invited the wonderful Harana Poetry (the online magazine for poets writing in English as a second or parallel language). Magazine editor Kostya Tsolakis has put together an exciting event involving readings, discussions about translation, an editorial […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Kim Moore Workshop – The Personal is Political

Workshop Room 1

If a poem is described as 'political', this often conjures up the idea of a rant in the shape of a poem, with the control of language slipping away from the poet's grasp. When a poem is described as 'personal', it can bring to mind ideas around what poetry 'should' be about; that certain subjects […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Nick Makoha Workshop – The Prose Poetry Lab

Workshop Room 2

We will be testing language in the poetic realm. Focus will be placed on getting the work to a high standard that is of publishable quality. If you are working on a project this is the one for you. Prose poetry merges the lyrical and metric elements of poetry with the narrative flow of traditional […]

£16.50 – £22.50

The VERVE Long Poem with Wayne Holloway-Smith

Patrick Studio

We’re proud to bring you the first of what will be an annual event at VERVE - our new Long Poem Event, which will feature one of our favourite poets performing new longer work - one poet alone on a stage reading one long poem. Wayne Holloway-Smith, whose stunning pamphlet length poem Lobsters was published […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Saturday Night Headline Event: Imtiaz Dhaker, Helen Mort, Hannah Sullivan

Patrick Studio

This year’s Saturday evening headline features three incredible poets, all giants in their way on the contemporary UK poetry scene. We’re thrilled to welcome Queen’s gold medalist for poetry Imtiaz Dharker back to VERVE for the first time since 2018. Joining her will be Helen Mort, whose latest collection, The illustrated Woman, was short-listed for […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Kevin P. Gilday’s Saturday Night Stramash

Patrick Studio

Join award-winning poet Kevin P. Gilday for a night of riotous entertainment from North of the border. Kevin has curated a Caledonian cabaret of Scottish delights featuring poetry, comedy and music from some of the country’s most talented contemporary acts. The show will see performances from powerhouse poet Victoria McNulty, futuristic rapper Texture, comedian Stuart […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Jay Gao Workshop – Writing Trees & Arboreal Poetics

Workshop Room 1

In this workshop we will explore how poets have responded to the verdant variousness of trees. We will think about trees ecologically, but also consider how trees might define limits of poetic thought, image and form - ways of writing otherwise about trees and woods. Learning from poets including Gerard Manley Hopkins, Francis Ponge, C.D. […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Liz Berry Workshop – Family Tree

Workshop Room 2

How can we use poems to tell the stories of our family? Join Liz Berry for a workshop about lifting your family history to the light with sensitivity and nuance. Sharing poems, discussion and practical writing activities, you’ll explore how to preserve your family’s history with care and meaning. Poets of all stages welcome.

£16.50 – £22.50

The Verve Poetry Festival Competition Event: Protest hosted by Kim Moore.

Patrick Studio

The Verve Competition on the Theme of Protest opened for entries from Nov 14 2022 to Jan 2 2023, judged by the wonderful Kim Moore. This FREE to attend event will feature all the winners and commended poets, as well as four commissioned poets, who will read their poems on our subject and help launch […]

Free

Burning Eye Books Workshop – How to Become a Published Poet

Workshop Room 1

Burning Eye editors Bridget Hart and Clive Birnie demystify the process of becoming a published poet. The workshop will include practical guides and case studies looking at what different editors and publishers look for and how to approach them. Whatever your level you will come away ready for the next step on your poetry journey […]

£16.50 – £22.50

100 Queer Poems: Hosted by Andrew McMillan and Mary Jean Chan

Patrick Studio

Hear poets from the acclaimed 100 Queer Poems (Vintage, 2022) anthology, including editors Andrew McMillan and Mary Jean Chan read their own and other work from this important work! Featuring Jay Gao, Rachel Mann, Golnoosh Nour & Gregory Woods in the flesh, as well as Chen Chen appearing on zoom!

£4.50 – £6.50

Jenny Mitchell Workshop – Poetry and Freedom

Workshop Room 2

Award-winning writer Jenny Mitchell will facilitate a supportive, creative session that looks at how we write about the elusive concept of Freedom. Why would we want/need to do this? What might it give the writer and reader? Is it even more important to think about Freedom in a world that is so filled with chaos? […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Imogen Stirling Poetry Show: Love The Sinner

Patrick Studio

Hailed as a ‘lyrical genius’ by Benjamin Zephaniah, Imogen Stirling’s writing crackles on and off the page. This award-winning performance poet teams up with composer and multi-media artist Sonia Killman, to present Love The Sinner: a modern retelling of the seven deadly sins. At once a mirror and rallying cry, the performance sees a loose […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Gregory Leadbetter Workshop – Writing In Concert with the Wild.

Workshop Room 1

In this workshop we’ll explore the poem as a wild place, and the relationship between poetry and the wild life beyond ourselves and our control.How can the will of the poet work in concert with the wild, and these two ideas – of the wild and the will, commonly assumed to be diametrically opposed – […]

£16.50 – £22.50

Andrew McMillan Workshop – Beyond 100 Queer Poems

Workshop Room 2

Using some of the poems from the acclaimed 100 Queer Poems, join co-editor Andrew McMillan to do some writing and breathe new life into your work. Andrew McMillan's three collections are physical, playground and Pandemonium. 100 Queer Poems was published by Vintage Books in 2022.

£16.50 – £22.50

Burning Eye Books Showcase hosted by Bridget Hart and Clive Birnie.

Patrick Studio

Bristol Based Burning Eye Books are the UK's top indie publisher of performance poetry. Returning for their third VERVE showcase, we are delighted to welcome Burning Eye editors Bridget Hart and Clive Birnie to introduce four poets whose latest books were published in Autumn / Winter 2022 - some of the best voices on the […]

£4.50 – £6.50

Sunday Night Headline Event: Zaffar Kunial, Gregory Leadbetter, Jenny Mitchell

Patrick Studio

Our final headline event of the weekend brings three wonderful poets together to read and talk about their work. Birmingham born Zaffar Kunial's second collection England's Green (Faber, 2022) has been short-listed for the TS Eliot Prize and follows his prize-winning debut collection Us (Faber, 2018). Brummie resident Gregory Leadbetter's second collection, Maskwork (Nine Arches, […]

£4.50 – £6.50