A Bardic Fete celebrating the written and spoken word takes place in Ramsgate this Bank Holiday weekend.
The fete is the idea of Kathy Smith-Vance who wants to give people the chance to show off their skills in writing poetry and short stories.
During the course of setting up the event Kathy discovered details about the almost forgotten Ramsgate 19th century author, Netta Syrett who was born in Harbour Street, and decided to name the fete after her.
Netta was born in Ramsgate to silk merchant parents in 1865 and went on to write 34 books and plays.
One of her books, Portrait of a Rebel was adapted into the 1936 Hollywood film A Woman Rebels starring Katherine Hepburn but Netta had a difficult time as much of her work was about female oppression, particularly in marriage.
One of her plays was panned by a theatre critic writing for the Daily Telegraph, who said the play was a thinly disguised autobiography -mit was about female relationships and oppression- and she was sacked from her job as a teacher because of it.
She never married and died in 1943 at the age of 78.
Bank Holiday fun
The event will be held on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1) at Charlotte and Albert Court starting at midday and running until 9pm.
There will be free facepainting, Bardic crown making, storytelling and poetry workshops where youngsters will get the chance to create their own poetry and learn about limericks, haiku and acrostics.
Book readings by authors; an open poetry and spoken word, including rap, event and a competition for Best Busker where the public will choose the winner will also feature.
There will be live music and plenty of entertainment with the evening being more for adults where they hope to crown Ramsgate’s first ‘Bard in Waiting’.
There is also an opportunity to enter your poems (maximum of 3) and short stories (taking no more than 5 minutes to read) and they will be judged by a published author.
The competition will be split into 4 categories: under 7s, under 12s, under 18s and over 18s and work can be submitted to; email@example.com up until 30th April.
The best poems, flash fiction and prose will be read out on stage either by the author or one of the event organisers, Lucia Xavier.
Enter ‘The Bard in Waiting’ competition – 5 mins, or maximum of 3 poems of your own original work, at least one of which pieces must be on the theme of ‘What is Home?’
The winner will be crowned Bard in Waiting – and as Bard of Ramsgate the post-holder must be ready and willing to be involved in promoting words/literacy/ poetry etc in schools and the local community, as well as linking up with other Bards in other parts of the country.
Anyone interested in sharing/reading their work or entering the Bard competition – or both – get in touch by email with the Bardic Fete organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org