Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival Welcomes Ashley Hutchings MBE

The UK’s longest running poetry festival returns to Stratford-upon-Avon this summer (2 July – 2 August) and includes in it’s exciting line-up Ashley Hutchings, who has recently been awarded an MBE for services to Folk Music.

Whilst folk music fans know Ashley as a ‘The Guv’nor’, a champion of folk music and as founder member of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band, he is also a poet and writer. He will be performing ‘Words, Words, Words’ on Friday, 24 July. Even better, he will be bringing musical colleague Ruth Angell, and they will be performing the show together for the first time.

In 2014 he published his first book 'Words Words Words', a personal selection of song lyrics, poems, sonnets and other writings that span his entire career and tell his story.

An evening in Ashley's company is an opportunity to listen to the stories behind the writings, add detail to the history of the bands he has created and describe some of the many projects he has brought to fruition. To set the scene for some of the stories, Ashley has invited talented violinist Ruth Angell to create an atmospheric musical background and will sing several of the songs.

Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the 62nd Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival will also mark the centenary of the death of Rupert Brooke, celebrate John Keats as a great Shakespearian, host an Amnesty poetry night with Jane Lapotaire, hold workshops, readings and film screenings and will also be welcoming poet in residence, Sally Goldsmith.  

Dr. Paul Edmondson, Poetry Festival Director and Head of Research and Knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “We are delighted to welcome Ashley to the festival, which for the first time has a real musical flavour. In addition to what promises to be a very special evening in the company of one of the country’s musical champions, we also welcome poet and two time Sony Award winning songwriter Sally Goldsmith as our Poet in Residence.”

‘Words, Words, Words’ with Ashley Hutchings and Ruth Angell

Friday, 24th July 2015, 7.30pm – 9.30pm. The Attic Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

For the full programme and to book tickets, visit


Press release issued by Alisan Cole, PR & Public Affairs Executive at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. For more information, contact 01789 207132 or email

Notes to Editors:

For an interview with Ashley Hutchings MBE, please email

Members of the media are welcome to attend any of the events and workshops taking place during the festival. For press accreditation, please contact Alisan Cole at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust on 01789 207132 or email

About the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct revenue funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends. For more information, visit