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Programme: Saturday 4 June 2016

Lemn Sissay – Jane Nancarrow – Martin Daws – Ben Norris – Mike Cooper – Story Republic

Fun in the Square.

Launceston Town Square

10am until 5pm

A drop – in Fun Day for all the family in the heart of historic Launceston.

Food stalls, beer tent with locally-brewed beers, free entertainment for both children and adults – music, dance, poetry, fairground, street performers and more.

Enjoy the convivial atmosphere, a well earned treat whilst exploring the events of the Charles Causley Festival.

Lego with Causley

Launceston Library

10am-12pm Free
Join us for a free session for children to build Lego models and create their own local scenes accompanied by readings of Charles Causley’s poems as an inspiration.
Models will be displayed in the Library.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Launceston


CHARLES CAUSLEY WALK with Jane Nancarrow

11am – Meet at Eagle House Hotel
3 Castle Street, Launceston PL15 8BA

(donations to the Festival gratefully received)

Jane Nancarrow’s walks have proved hugely popular at the festival. Stroll around the town with an animated tour by Nancarrow and see the locations that inspired some of Charles Causley’s best-loved poems read more...

including the National School, and visit St Thomas’s Church where Causley is buried. Nancarrow, who was taught by Causley, reads his poems with empathy and genuine enthusiasm.

The walk will involve several steep hills in the town and is subject to changes in the weather.

Jane Nancarrow was taught by Charles Causley (like so many Launceston people) at the old National School, where Charles became a teacher after his war-service in the Royal Navy. As a young teacher herself back in Cornwall she was encouraged by him to write, and has (to-date) written many short stories and 2 novels set locally, one of which, ‘Stones and Shadows’, goes back in time to the Charlotte Dymond murder story of 1844. She taught at Bodmin College for over 30 years in the English Department and has been a member of the Charles Causley Society, (now the Causley Trust), since its beginnings, taking Poetry walks around the town and sometimes giving talks on Causley with readings of his poems. She is a Town Councillor and is on the committee which organises Launceston’s Causley Festival. Some of her ‘best’ moments were to appear in scenes with Edward Woodward in his last film ‘A Congregation of Ghosts’ shot on location in Cornwall.  


Cyprus Well comes alive with special spontaneous performances by Anna Maria Murphy, Rick Williams, and Story Republic.

Includes access to the House & Garden
11am-1pm Cyprus Well, Ridgegrove Hill, Launceston
£8 Book tickets here

Print Workshop with Swanskin

Town Hall
11am-2:30pm Free

Drop-in workshop open to all, aimed at younger people. Join Swanskin at a special print workshop and create your own ‘Portrait of Causley’ or a personal portrait, and contribute to a ‘Portrait of Launceston’


STORY REPUBLIC – stories, poems and songs

11am, 12 noon, 2 pm, 3pm Free
Various locations in the Town

Performing in the Square, Launceston, 2015
Performing in the Square, Launceston, 2015

Story Republic cut quite a dash in the street dressed in their Sunday best, brandishing suitcases and performing poems on the spot. Their repertoire includes many of Charles Causley’s poems read more...

including ‘Figgie Hobbin’, where a grumpy King pushes away all delicacies in favour of his prized Cornish pudding; ‘My Young Man’s a Cornishman’, where our ladies fight over a rather self satisfied young man; and ‘Timothy Winters’ the heart rending tale of a young, neglected boy. They will also rouse you with sea shanties, and lull you with stories. Suitable for all ages, especially children


Mike Cooper

The Guildhall, Town Hall, Launceston

3pm, £5 book tickets here

Mike Cooper Jan 2016 - Cropped(3)

Many poets are often stereotyped, and Charles Causley is no exception. “Ballad poet” is a description frequently used, pointing to his use of traditional forms and his ability to tell a complete story in a poem. But Causley’s poetry is much more varied than that, and even the ballads are often not as straightforwardly conventional as they might be. Mike Cooper looks at the full range of Causley’s poetic styles and forms, to investigate just how appropriate a term ‘balladeer’ might be.

Mike graduated from high-school in Manhattan with Frank McCourt as one of his teachers. He first encountered Charles Causley (as the ‘poet-in-residence’) when studying English at Exeter University in the 1970s. He regularly used Causley’s work throughout his teaching career, corresponding occasionally with him through the 1980s and 1990s. He still writes for the education press, and is currently contributing a series about Causley’s war poetry to the Causley Trust newsletter, ‘St. Thomas Water’.



Martin Daws

Town Hall

3-4:30pm £3

Martin Daws is a Spoken Word Poet, Writer and Creative Educator who started out at Open Mics and Slams, and was appointed as Young People’s Laureate for Wales 2013-16.

His performances cover Storytelling through Modernist Poetry, Hip Hop Lyricism, Spoken Word, and recently experimental soundworks. His performances are innovative, original, challenging and tender. He’s a passionate advocate for the importance of young people’s voices being heard and represented He has collaborated with Literature Wales, National Theatre Wales, The British Council, Apples and Snakes, Urban Word NYC (USA), La Generale D’Imaginaire (France) and Holy Land Trust (Palestine). He loves people, so come along to the Town Hall, hear him perform and join in yourself!

Book tickets here


Ben Norris

Town Hall

5pm £3

Ben Norris is an actor and writer who became the UK All-Star Poetry Slam Champion in 2013 and has since performed his spoken-word across the country, from Latitude Festival to the Royal Albert Hall, completing commissions for the Southbank Centre and IdeasTap and appearing several times on BBC Radio 3. His debut poetry pamphlet was published by Nasty Little Press in 2014 and last year his debut one-man show, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family’, won the IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is touring the UK in autumn 2016. Ben’s performance at the Festival is not to be missed!

Book tickets here


Lemn Sissay

supported by Anna Maria Murphy and Rick Williams

Town Hall, Launceston

7pm £10 general / £5 student & under-18

Lemn Sissay seated

Lemn Sissay MBE is the author of several books of poetry alongside articles, records, public art, and plays. He was an official poet for the London Olympics.  His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. Sissay is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, and inaugural trustee of World Book Night

Anna Maria Murphy is a writer, playwright, teacher and storyteller. Anna has a beautiful, animated voice that is all too captivating to listen to, like a siren call, which translates to paper beautifully. She has written plays for BBC Radio 4 and is the author of a large number of Kneehigh Theatre Company’s work including The Red Shoes, The Bacchae, Tristan & Yseult (co. written) and Midnight’s Pumpkin which she described, with a sonorous laugh, as a “festival of cheese”.

Book tickets here


Featured image: Lemn Sissay, credit Aida Muluneh © 2013 Addis Ababa