Clare Pollard has been named the new artistic director of Winchester Poetry Festival, succeeding Sasha Dugdale, who has decided to step down and focus on other projects at the end of the 2021 festival after having held the position since 2015.
The poet, publisher and writer joins the team at the Winchester Poetry Festival during the period of development and shaping by organizing its new business plan, including the program for the fifth festival in October 2023.
Festival President Jane Bryant said:
It is a great pleasure to welcome Claire to our small team. Her vast experience of the diversity of the literary landscape and of the world of poetry in particular, make her an exceptional choice as artistic director. I am very excited about the imagination, innovation and verve that she will bring to the Winchester Poetry Festival 2023.
Speaking of her enthusiasm to step into the role of artistic director, Clare commented:
The past two years have given people such a thirst for live literature, while also teaching us a lot about community and accessibility. It’s an exciting time to join one of my favorite poetry festivals, which has always combined a sense of the local with an ambitious, international outlook. I can’t wait to start planning for 2023!
The Winchester Poetry Festival is a biennial three-day festival established in 2014, which attracts local, national and international audiences and poets. In 2021, the festival responded to restrictions linked to the pandemic by presenting four months of online events followed by a weekend of live poetry readings, workshops and lectures at the Winchester Discovery Center.