Women across Bedford will get together and celebrate International Women’s Day with poetry and prose.
The theme is Belonging and the event has been organised by Bedford Women Writing, at The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, on Sunday, March 25, and will raise funds for projects supporting those fleeing domestic violence.
The programme for the day includes a workshop run by popular poet, Vanessa Horton (the 6th Bard of Stony Stratford), at 10.30am and a performance by local women poets at 2pm.
A late-comer to the performance poetry scene, Vanessa became a regular at Stony Stratford’s Scribal Gathering spoken word and music.
She was crowned Bard of Stony Stratford in 2016, a civic position as “a figurehead for the spirit of creativity, culture and community in the town of Stony Stratford and the surrounding areas.”
Her poetry style ranges from traditional stanzas of beautiful imagery and poignancy to humorous, free form observation of day to day events.
Domestic violence affects one in four women in the UK, according to statistics, and two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. Changes to the way women’s refuge places are funded also mean that access to safe spaces is under threat.
Fay Roberts, who is, among other roles, artistic director for Spoken Word @ The Free Fringe, said: “Vanessa Horton is a writer and performer of remarkable breadth and depth. She manages to combine whimsy, honesty and passion, often within a single poem, delivered in crisp, clever, accessible rhyme.
“I never fail to enjoy Vanessa’s writing, and her performance skills lift her work to another level. She has a fantastic presence and great voice.”
Tickets are £12 for the workshop and performance or £6 for the performance only.