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New BBC festival kicks off in Hull

The University of Hull will help showcase some of the best of British poetry and spoken word this month. 

Beginning with a launch broadcast by national BBC radio from the University library where Philip Larkin worked for 30 years, Contains Strong Language will reflect Hull’s remarkable literary past, present and future. 

The festival, which runs from 28 September to 1 October, celebrates the power of poetry in all its forms; fusing old and new, performance, digital, music, documentary and drama.

Kicking off on National Poetry Day, it features new commissions, spoken word readings, TV and film screenings, music gigs and open mic nights and much more.

The University is proud to be hosting some of the extraordinary events during the festival, including a sell-out live concert of A Clockwork Orange by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, public performances by some of modern poetry’s biggest names like Dr John Cooper Clarke and Roger McGough, plus a schools event with Simon Armitage.

And University students, staff and graduates will be among those showcasing their work, from alumni like Everything But The Girl and Roger McGough, to current students like Vicky Foster who has been chosen as one of the ‘Hull 17’ poets.

Professor Glenn Burgess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, said: “We are tremendously proud that the creative heritage of the University and the wider city will be showcased nationally by Contains Strong Language. 

“Our people and our venues are at the heart of the festival programme, showcasing our literary strengths not only to external visitors but to the new students who have just joined the University.” 

As well as events at the University, venues right across the city will be alive with spoken word – from churches to libraries and public parks.  

Surrounding the festival is an extensive collection of TV and radio commissions, including new documentaries, dramas and live performances on BBC Two and BBC Four.

BBC Radio Humberside, joined by all of the BBC’s network radio stations will take audiences to the heart of the festival in Hull with broadcasts from Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2, Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music, Ian McMillan on BBC Radio 3, John Wilson on BBC Radio 4, Sarah Brett on BBC 5 live and Mim Shaikh on BBC 1Xtra. 

A full list of events and booking info is available on the Hull 2017 website.

Contains Strong Language is produced by the BBC in partnership with Wrecking Ball Press, Humber Mouth, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, The British Council, The Arts Council and a number of other poetry organisations.

“Our people and our venues are at the heart of the festival programme, showcasing our literary strengths not only to external visitors but to the new students who have just joined the University.” . Professor Glenn Burgess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull

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