Contains Strong Language

A Co-Commission between the BBC, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Writing West Midlands and Nine Arches Press.  

The BBC’s poetry and spoken word festival Contains Strong Language will be coming to Coventry in September 2021 for the biggest celebration of poetry ever seen in the region.

The four-day festival will be taking place in venues across the city, celebrating spoken word in all its poetic forms and revealing the best existing and emerging talent from Coventry and the Midlands.

Among the many performances and events on offer, BBC Radio Club will be giving primary and secondary pupils from Coventry the chance to write and take over the airwaves, while there will also be poetry workshops held in schools across the city.

In Radio 3’s celebration of the spoken word, The Verb, poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan will be waxing lyrical on the verse that has made the Midlands and the new talent emerging from its streets right now. Meanwhile, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row will showcase Coventry’s vibrant poetry and spoken word scene, putting the city’s writers in the spotlight on the international stage.

Seeking out the best new spoken word talent in the UK will see BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network and Contains Strong Language working together again in 2021.

“We are very excited to be bringing the dynamic festival of poetry and performance Contains Strong Language the dynamic city of Coventry in 2021 as part of City of Culture, partnering with Nine Arches Press and Writing West Midlands.” says Susan Roberts, Head of Culture, Arts and Music Audio North and Director of CSL.

She continues, “The power of poetry, a vital, dynamic art form has become increasingly important as we try to make sense of the world and how our lives have been transformed in recent times. Our poets - local, national and international, both established and breakthrough - will present newly commissioned work to provoke and inspire everyone.”

BBC Arts and BBC Audio are partnering with the regional literature development agency Writing West Midlands, poetry publisher Nine Arches Press and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

The festival will take place in venues around the city from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 September 2021 via live performance, digital streaming on BBC Arts and broadcasts across all BBC radio, and TV networks



23rd - 26th September 2021