Spoken Word

Chichester spoken word events

Thursday, June 4, 7pm.

AN EVENING WITH KATE MOSSE IN CONVERSATION WITH KATIE DERHAM, CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL, WEST STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1PX.

Internationally bestselling local author Kate Mosse will be speaking to BBC presenter and face of the Proms Katie Derham about her highly anticipated new novel, The City of Tears. This will be Kate’s home launch event for this second novel in her epic historical adventure series which started with The Burning Chambers. Tickets £10. Disabled access.


Sunday, June 14, 11am-12 noon.

LIGHT AND SPACE – A TALK BY SUSIE MONNINGTON, THE LITTLE ART GALLERY, ROOKWOOD ROAD, WEST WITTERING, PO20 8LT.

Susie will talk about her adventures around the Hebrides with her paints and her bike and Sussex coast canoeing trips. A wonderful insight into her working practices both out in the landscape and back in her Sussex studio. She will be showing lovely photographs of Scotland, Sussex and her painting processes. Free entry. Disabled access.


Monday, June 15, 7.30pm.

WATER VOLES: AN ILLUSTRATED TALK, MANHOOD WILDLIFE AND HERITAGE GROUP, DONNINGTON PARISH HALL, STOCKBRIDGE ROAD, DONNINGTON, CHICHESTER, PO19 8QT.

Local conservationist Jane Reeve will deliver a fascinating talk about water voles, the UK’s fastest declining mammal. You will learn the history of Britain’s water voles, their ecology and behaviour, why they are a protected species and what conservation measures are safeguarding their future. Email [email protected] to book. Free entry. Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 16, 7.30-9.30pm.

HISTORY TALK: THE TRAIL OF THE PERIPATETIC FONT, ST PAUL’S CHURCH, CHURCHSIDE, CHICHESTER, PO19 6FT.

Join us for a talk on the fortunes of a medieval font whose story echoes the history of Christianity in Chichester, by local historians Caroline Adams and Alan Green. Includes wine and nibbles and the launch of the book The Five Little Churches of Chichester by Alan Green. Autographed copies of the book will be available. All welcome. Doors open from 7pm for refreshments.

Tickets £10. Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 16, 7.30pm.

TEN TOP TIPS FOR USING RESEARCH IN YOUR WRITING, NEW PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE, NEW PARK ROAD, CHICHESTER, PO19 7XY.

Historical fiction writer Gill Thompson completed an MA in creative writing at Chichester University. Her first novel, The Oceans Between Us, about a child migrant to Australia, was a digital number one bestseller; her second, The Child on Platform One, about a little girl on the Kindertransport, is out now. Tickets £5 (includes light refreshments); seniors £4.50; students £4.50; children £4. Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 16, 7.30pm.

LIFTING THE LID: ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF PSEUDO-SCIENCE, CHICHESTER SKEPTICS IN THE PUB, THE CHICHESTER INN, 38 WEST STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1RP.

Using examples taken from his personal experiences in scepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudo-sciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes shocking and often comic adventures that lie beneath. Tickets £6. Disabled access.


Wednesday, June 17, 12-2pm.

THE RELUCTANT TEABAG! IN PRAISE OF A SENSE OF HUMOUR, SANDRA SAER, SMH BOOKS, OLD COURT ROOM, NORTH STREET, CHICHESTER, P019 1LQ.

‘Words, words, words!’? Three haunted me, until forced to write a fun poem about them…A sense of humour has lifted our spirits throughout the ages. Think Chaucer’s Wife of Bath; BBC Radio’s ITMA; Lear’s Nonsense Poems; G K Chesterton’s comments; Patrick Moore’s Within the Glade; Harold Nicholson’s Peacemaking 1919. Tickets £7; seniors £5; students £5. Disabled access.


Thursday, June 18, 2pm.

ARIADNA, THE BLOCKADE AND THE SYMPHONY THAT WON THE WAR: THE STORYTELLER, ST MARTIN’S TEAROOMS, 3 ST MARTIN’S STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1NP.

Ariadna Niemalova tells The Storyteller how she survived the Siege of Leningrad (1941-44). He recalls how he encountered this afternoon’s featured work, a complete recording of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony (The Leningrad) and relates the incredible story of its journey to live performance. Free entry, but £5 minimum spend at café. Limited access.


Thursday, June 18, 6-7pm.

GENEALOGY – WHO ARE YOU? TALKS AT SIX, THE STUDIO NEW PARK CENTRE, NEW PARK ROAD, CHICHESTER, PO19 7XY.

Duncan Salkeld will talk about finding out who you are, tracing your family ancestry and methods to help, including input from the Records Office. Admission free with donations to the speaker’s chosen charity. Limited space, so please book on [email protected]. Disabled access.


Thursday, June 18, 6.30pm.

FRIDA KAHLO – A LIFE IN ART: FIONA ROSE, THE ARTS SOCIETY – CHICHESTER EVENING, THE ASSEMBLY ROOM, THE COUNCIL HOUSE, NORTH STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1LQ.

This Mexican artist was queen of the selfies long before Kim Kardashian. Her work is often graphic and unflinching with subjects including murder, suicide, marital infidelity, miscarriage, revolution and living with a disability and death. Tickets seniors £10; students £8. Disabled access.


Thursday, June 18, 7.30pm.

POETRY & JAZZ CAFÉ WITH GRACE NICHOLS AND JOHN AGARD, ST JOHN’S CHAPEL, ST JOHN’S STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1UR.

Internationally acclaimed poets Grace Nichols and John Agard team up with jazz stars the Charlotte Glasson Trio with legendary guitarist Chris Spedding, to entertain and inspire. Grace and John will read from their multi-award winning collections. Enjoy a delightful mix of words and music with complimentary home-made cake in the atmospheric setting of grade I listed St John’s Chapel. Tickets £15. Disabled access.


Saturday, June 20, 7pm.

LOSING EDEN: WHY OUR MINDS NEED THE WILD, CHICHESTER LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. Losing Eden by acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones explores the emerging scientific evidence confirming nature’s place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Tickets £5. Disabled access.


Monday, June 22, 6.30pm.

CONVERSATIONS IN CRIME: B A PARIS, AMANDA JENNINGS AND ALICE FEENEY DISCUSS THEIR BESTSELLING NOVELS, CHICHESTER LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Dilemma. A former researcher at the BBC, Amanda Jennings’ books explore her deep fascination for the far-reaching effects of trauma. Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist whose debut novel Sometimes I Lie was a New York Times bestseller. Tickets £5. Disabled access.


Thursday, June 25, 2pm.

EIGHT GRAMOPHONE RECORDS, THE STORYTELLER. ST MARTIN’S TEAROOMS, 3 ST MARTIN’S STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1NP.

How does one become a music-lover? Using the format of Desert Island Discs but without the illustrious guest or presenter, and using musical examples, The Storyteller attempts an explanation of his own musical journey. Admission £5 which is paid in exchange for drinks and cakes at the café. No disabled access.


Thursday, June 25, 6-7pm.

CHICHESTER, FIFTY YEARS OF CHANGE, TALKS AT SIX, BASSIL SHIPPAM CENTRE, TOZER WAY, CHICHESTER, PO19 7LG.

Local historian Andrew Berriman takes us back to Chichester as it was fifty years ago in 1970. So what has changed by 2020 and what has stayed the same? Free entry. Disabled access.


Friday, June 26, 7.30pm.

WHO BROKE UP THE BEATLES? PETER DOGGETT, THE STUDIO, NEW PARK CENTRE, NEW PARK ROAD, CHICHESTER, PO19 7XY.

Fifty years ago this summer, the world was shocked to hear the Beatles were breaking up. But who deserves to take the blame for the split? Peter Doggett, best-selling author of You Never Give Me Your Money, reveals who, and what, caused the collapse of the fabled Fab Four. Tickets £8; students £5; children £5. Disabled access.


Monday, June 29, 7.30pm.

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN LIPPIETT IN CONVERSATION, THREE CITIES (CHARTRES, RAVENNA, VALLETTA), ASSEMBLY ROOM, NORTH STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1LQ.

On leaving the Royal Navy after 36 years, Rear Admiral John Lippiett became chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust and turned his attention to completing the conservation of Henry VIII’s flagship and her remarkable collection of contents. Conversation to be followed by refreshments from Italy, France and Malta. Tickets £12. Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 30, 6.30pm.

POETRY AND MUSIC WITH DAME PENELOPE KEITH, SOUTH DOWNS POETRY FESTIVAL, CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL, WEST STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1PX.

Dame Penelope Keith reads from Keats’ immortal Odes to mark the bicentenary of their publication in this celebration of poetry and music, held in the atmospheric setting of the Cathedral. With stimulating new poetry read by Vicki Feaver and South Downs poets with live music performed by visiting Russian maestro Victor Ryabchikov on piano. Tickets £10; students £7.50. Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 30, 7pm.

HOW I BECAME ELLY GRIFFITHS, CHICHESTER LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

The best-selling crime-writer describes how she came to write about archaeology and Norfolk – and how she became Elly Griffiths.

Tickets £5.

Disabled access.


Tuesday, June 30, 7.30pm.

JULIAN BAGGINI: HOW THE WORLD THINKS, CHICHESTER HUMANISTS, WATERSTONES, WEST STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QD.

Julian Baggini will explain how philosophy has developed around the world and both impacted and reflected the cultures in which it flourished. He will show that by gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we take the first step to a greater understanding of ourselves. Tickets £6. Disabled access.

PIC Julian Baggini


Thursday, July 2, 6-7pm.

IN CONVERSATION WITH MANDY SHEPHERD, TALKS AT SIX, BASSIL SHIPPAM CENTRE, TOZER WAY, CHICHESTER, PO19 7LG.

Mandy will be talking about many parallels with her father artist David Shepherd and his extraordinary life that was an inspiration for her own work. Her illustrated talk will cover her travels, expeditions and conservation work. Free entry with donations to David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Disabled access.


Saturday, July 4, 11am-12pm.

STORYTIME WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR SAM LLOYD, CHICHESTER LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

Come and listen to the story of the mighty Midnight Ninja. When everyone is tucked up in bed, Midnight Ninja swings into action – Kapow! We will make ninjas, creep like ninjas and have lots of ninja fun. Feel free to come dressed in your best ninja costume. Free entry. Disabled access.


Saturday, July 4, 2-4.30pm workshop; 5.30-7pm reading.

WORDS AND SILENCE: POETRY WITH PHILIP GROSS, CHICHESTER QUAKERS, FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, PRIORY ROAD, CHICHESTER, PO19 1NX.

Join Quaker poet, Philip Gross (T S Eliot prize-winner) for an afternoon poetry workshop (15 people maximum). Then in the early evening there will be a poetry reading, open to all. In aid of Earthwatch, Philip’s chosen charity. Tickets: workshop and reading £12; reading only £8. Disabled access.


Thursday, July 9, 4-5pm.

I SWAPPED MY GENIUS SISTER’S BRAIN – JO SIMMONS, CHICHESTER LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

Join author Jo Simmons to hear about her new book I Stole My Genius Sister’s Brain. In another laugh-out-loud tale of wish fulfilment gone wrong, join Jo as she talks about her career as an author and gets everyone involved in an interactive story-building session. There may even be a brain swap! For ages 7+. Free entry. Disabled access.


Thursday July 9, 6-7pm.

JOE RODDIS – WORLD WAR TWO AIRMAN, TALKS AT SIX, FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, PRIORY ROAD, CHICHESTER, PO19 1NX.

Mark Hillier, local historian, tells the story of Joe, chief technician and airman under fire in World War Two and his extraordinary wartime adventures during the Battle of Britain whilst servicing Spitfires. He supported the few and much more. Admission free with donations to The Wings Appeal. Disabled access.


Saturday, July 18, 11am-12pm.

STORYTIME WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR MATT CARR, CHICHESTER  LIBRARY, TOWER STREET, CHICHESTER, PO19 1QJ.

Author Matt Carr will give a reading of his newest picture book Rhinocorn Rules, followed by a whole host of interesting rhino facts. Then get your creative head on by drawing and colouring-in Ron the Rhinocorn before everyone makes their very own rhino horn hat. Free entry. Disabled access.


If you’re a spoken word and literary festival fan, our Chichester theatre performances may also be of interest.

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