Penzance Literary Festival

7 Jul 2021 to 10 Jul 2021
Cancelled for 2021
Penzance Literary Festival, Cornwall, What's on
Penzance Literary Festival, Cornwall. What's on
Penzance Literary Festival
Penzance Literary Festival
Venues in the centre of the town
Penzance
Cornwall
TR18 4AJ

Event: Cancelled for 2021

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The 2021 LitFest — and beyond

We’ve been very much hoping that this year would see the return of the Penzance LitFest — especially as we were unable to put on a festival in 2020. But instead we are writing to let you know that we have taken the difficult decision that it is not feasible to mount a Festival this year either.
 
Even though it may be ‘technically’ possible to stage an event in July, we would have to plan against a background of continuing uncertainty, and in the knowledge that the social buzz that is such a central part of the LitFest experience would be severely curtailed.
 
However we fully intend to hold a 'bounceback' LitFest, as big and bold as ever, in July 2022. So, unless the totally unexpected happens, we'll be starting over with our plans and opening for submissions at the end of this year. And do be sure to put next year’s dates, 6 to 9 July 2022, in your diary. We are very much looking forward to seeing you then.

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With big virtual (and socially distanced) hugs,
The Penzance Literary Festival Team

 

PENZANCE – THE REASONS IN RHYME

(on the Penzance Literary Festival’s 10th birthday)

“Isn’t Penzance at the end of the line?”
“Land’s End is close by…so that’s quite a clue.”
“But the broadsheets say ‘it’s the place to be’.”
Come closer my dears…I’ll edify you.

If you’ve only heard of the pirates here,
Prepare to be boarded and take your chance.
For here be writers, with their pens unsheathed…
You might just meet the poets of Penzance.

For this headland has always charmed authors
Each one in search of their own Lyonesse.
Defoe, Collins, Lawrence and Ballantyne.
Eliot (that’s George of course, not T.S.).

And we can’t forget Dylan Thomas, who
Was both inspired by and loved living here.
Go down to Mousehole, look round and tell me
That he didn’t set Under Milk Wood there.

Visitors come from all over the globe
Not only to listen but to take part…
Write, illustrate…even make their own book.
At the very least they’re making that start.

Because isn’t that what we’re all here for
To see the emperor without his clothes?
We want to know how the magic is done;
Not just to marvel and offer applause.

We hope you’ve not only brought yourself here
To seek intellectual arousal.
Make the most of Penzance and her neighbours
Of Marazion, Newlyn and Mousehole.

Watching over our cerulean bay
Stands Sir Humphry Davy, in all his pomp.
Discoverer of diverse elements,
Inventor of the miners’ safety lamp.

This Cornish Da Vinci, marbled marvel,
Held in place by a granite anchorage
Was also a poet much admired by
Such as Wordsworth Southey and Coleridge.

As your feet wend their way down Chapel Street,
Imagine those that stepped there before you…
Barbary slavers, Spanish invaders,
Smugglers, press gangs and a Bronte or two.

And while you’re a guest in this town of ours
Don’t be afraid of raiding the pantry…
There’s pasties, cream teas, ‘Ansome!…and some of
The best fish restaurants in the country.

The people are our town’s greatest asset
Warm and inviting and eager to give
Of themselves whether born here or blown here;
A mindset mindful of live and let live.

Penzance loves to turn its world upside down;
At the blast of a horn we’re off marching
With flaming torches or greenery-strewn.
We like to dance as if no one’s watching.

We’ve got an iconic art deco pool;
We’ve got pubs full of music and chatter;
Open-topped buses and streets paved with gold.
Sorry…sorry…I made up the latter

But that’s only because I love this place,
It’s become a part of me I hold dear.
Now is there anything else I’ve forgot?
Oh…did I say they film Poldark ‘round here?

It’s so beautiful surrounded by sea.
Our coastal paths become the gilded frame
Where the light is perfect for painting and
The rain only raineth now and again.

But then if it didn’t, we wouldn’t have
Our gardens of sub-tropical flora.
Which year round keeps our town dressed to impress
And it easy for us to adore her.

So, here’s a heartfelt welcome to Penzance;
We’re sure before long you’ll be Kernowphiles.
Because if you want ‘best and friendliest’,
Sometimes you need to go the extra miles.

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