A decade back, before she was Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy gave a reading with Ann Gray, her friend and fellow poet, at Sterts Theatre and Arts Centre. After the packed reading, Carol Ann announced that she loved the venue and that it would make a great place for a Poetry Festival. From then on, Ann had in the back of her mind that she would, one day, make this happen.
On top of running her care home, Coombe House, Ann had a very busy life, and had always organised poetry groups, events and projects, as well as doing readings and workshops herself, but setting up a festival seemed out of the question. Until that is, she re-connected with old friend and fellow poet David, who had spent most of his working life running arts centres and festivals. It wasn’t long before Ann persuaded David to help set up what became the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival.
Six years later, and with the seventh festival to take place in May, we now run not only the festival together, but Coombe House too! We have both always been passionate about poetry and have been determined to bring the best poets we can to Cornwall.
We are delighted that the festival has gone from strength to strength, establishing a reputation as one of the best and friendliest around. This year we have invited Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave to bring fresh blood to the proceedings with poets and illustrators from their wonderful Guillemot imprint, and we are sure this will help the festival take another great leap forward.
Ann Gray and David Woolley