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About Us

Derby Poetry Festival is an annual four day festival, which includes performances, workshops, slam and panel discussions.

Poetry Reading

Often referred to as DPF, Derby Poetry Festival is a four-day poetry and literature festival held in the centre of Derby in the autumn. We are dedicated to developing new writing talent in Derby and bring excellent work to the city. 

Previous headliners include: Linton Quasi Johnson, recent T S Elliott winner Joelle Taylor and Shivanee Ramlochan.

We host a range of performances, workshops, slams and panel discussions for all ages in partnership with many venues in the city including: Quad, Derby Museums, Derby Theatre and Derby Libraries. Supported by Arts Council England and Derby City Council.

We also hold writing workshops, performances and provide resources throughout the year. Check out our What's On? page for upcoming events from DPF and other poetry and writing events in the local area or online.

Meet The Team

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Aoife O'Connor (She/They/Them)

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Aoife O'Connor is a queer woman of colour, poet and producer based in Derby. She is an experienced slam and spoken word performer and co-founded an intersectional female-led performance night to tackle the lack of diverse spaces in Derby.
They have worked in many different aspects of poetry and performance, including workshop facilitation, coaching slam teams and producing and facilitating events, but she prioritises writing and performing work inspired by her lived experiences.

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Dan Webber (He/Him)

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Festival Co-Ordinator

Dan Webber is an award-winning LGBTQ+ poet and producer based in Derby. He has appeared at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Reading Fringe Festival and as part of the 25th Birthday Celebrations for Leicester Comedy Festival. His first collection ‘Genre Fluid’ was published by Big White Shed in June 2019, a show of the same name was named Best Solo Show at Morecambe Digital Fringe in August 2020. 


Commissions include ‘The Derby Witness’ a poetry and street art project for Derby Feste, ‘Whispers From The Woods’, a poetry and nature trail produced with Arts Melbourne for The National Forest, ‘15st 9lbs at time of writing’ for SHOUT Festival, Birmingham, ‘Genre Fluid: Quarantine Edition’ for Coventry Pride, and ‘322 Ways of Escape’ as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-upon-Trent.


In September 2021, Dan supported Cheryl Hole as part of The University of Derby Freshers week and in February 2022 ‘Genre Fluid’ and ‘The Derby Witness’ were accepted into The National Poetry Library. In July 2022, Dan competed in the Loud Poets Edinburgh Fringe Slam at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. In September 2022 Dan appeared alongside Barbara Nice as part of the Derby CAN ‘Over To You’ season


Sophie Sparham (They/Them)

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Sophie Sparham is a poet and writer from Derby. They have written commissions for BBC Radio 4, The V&A and The People's History Museum. They co-hosts the night Word Wise which won best spoken word night at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. Their latest collection 'The Man Who Ate 50,000 Weetabix' came out in April 2021 via Verve Poetry Press. Sophie's work has been published in Orbis, Under the Radar and The Morning Star. Their poem Sunrise Over Aldi won third place in the 2020 Charles Causley International Poetry Competition.


Trevor Wright (He/Him)

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Festival Co-Ordinator & Founder

Bio Coming Soon

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