Contains Strong Language Programme Reveal – Part 1

Starting on National Poetry Day, Thursday 28 September, with local, national and international poets, Contains Strong Language is a celebration of new and existing word craft inspired by our literary city.

Radio 3 Breakfast

28 Sep 2017, 6am (no audience for this event)
University of Hull

The BBC Radio 3 Breakfast show comes live from Hull University. Petroc Trelawny opens the Contains Strong Language season on National Poetry Day for the BBC.


28 Sep 2017, 12pm (free, unticketed)

Attachment is a poetic concept, a message in a bottle 2.0. Inspired by the rusty machines of Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely, the fully automatic poetic machine gives physical form to digital messages.

1st Editions Reading: Douglas Dunn

28 Sep 2017, 11.30am (free, ticketed)
Hull Central Library

Douglas Dunn opens an exhibition of Hull related first edition poetry books with a reading from his ground breaking first collection Terry Street published in 1967.

Free Thinking

28 Sep 2017, 11am (free, ticketed)
Hull College

Radio 3’s Flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking discusses the 17th century Hull poet Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’.

Radio 5 Live: Afternoon Edition

28 Sep 2017, 1pm (free, ticketed) More information to be announced.
Hull College

BBC Radio 5 Live Broadcast live from Hull College. Sarah Brett talks to Hull ‘17 poets about their work.


28 Sep 2017, 2.30pm (free, ticketed)
Hull Central Library

Listeners to BBC Radio Humberside have been composing ‘Poems on a Postcard’ about where they live in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire. Resident ‘Landline’ poets Dean Wilson and Vicky Foster perform some of the 2017 poems.

Hull 17 Gala Launch

28 Sep 2017, 5pm (free, ticketed)
Kardomah 94

This special event split over two nights is a Gala showcase of the work of the Hull ‘17 Contains Strong Language poets.

The Verb: 35 Years of Spoken Word

28 Sep 2017, 6pm (free, ticketed)
Jubilee Church

Ian McMillan presents a special edition of Radio 3’s The Verb as we celebrate the story of spoken word in the UK, with Apples and Snakes on their 35th anniversary.

Kathryn Williams

28 Sep 2017, 7.30pm (tickets £15)
Kardomah 94

A performance from Mercury nominated and critically acclaimed folk artist Kathryn Williams.

Jo Whiley

28 Sep 2017, 8pm (free, ticketed)
Hull College

Coming live from the City of Culture, Jo brings you a special show on National Poetry day as part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language season.

Film Screening: Auden

29 Sep 2017, 11am (free, ticketed)

W.H Auden in a New Age of Anxiety examines why Auden’s poetry still shines through in the 21st century.


1st Editions Reading: Kath McKay

29 Sep 2017, 11.30am (free, ticketed)
Hull Central Library

First edition reading local Hull writer Kath McKay’s poetry plays out the daily tragi-comic dramas of life in a large city.

Kate Fox

29 Sep 2017, 12pm (free, ticketed)
Kardomah 94

Kate Fox has made a living as a stand-up poet for ten years. Being funny and northern is sometimes a help and sometimes a hindrance and she’s doing a PhD about why.

The Verb: International Poets

29 Sep 2017, 11.30am (free, ticketed)
Hull College

Ian McMillan presents The Verb, Radio 3’s cabaret of the spoken word with a host of International poets from Latvia, America and Poland.

Film Screening: Mersey Beat Poetry Movement

29 Sep 2017, 12.30pm (free ticketed)

In 1967 Penguin Books published The Mersey Sound, number 10 in the Modern Poets series, by Liverpool poets Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri. This hour-long film for BBC Four celebrates the 50th anniversary of the collection.

Women of Words

29 Sep 2017, 1pm (free, ticketed)
Kardomah 94

Hull’s Women of Words collective join forces with Northern poet Kate Fox to celebrate the voices of the trailblazing women of Hull.