Wise Words Festival

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Wise Words is a festival that reawakens wonder and encourages curiosity. It offers unexpected, intimate and intriguing encounters with poetry and storytelling that invite people to see the world from a different perspective and to take time to pause and reflect. Wise Words represents a new offer to audiences, artists and the literary world.

It is not a traditional festival constrained within the confines of its venues but instead takes place within the public realm – on the streets, in the gardens, on the river and in coffee shops across Canterbury City centre. Words fly as poets on apple boxes battle for audience votes to become the king or queen of the Street Slam. Storytellers in tipis and in boats on the river summon goddesses and heroes to take centre stage. This is an event where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.

“ Wise Words is quirky, innovative, intimate, exciting, ambitious and brave. A festival like no other!” Lemn Sissay, Poet

“A captivating series of happenings & a perfect way to rediscover the city” Festival goer

“Wise Words did that very difficult thing of taking literature off the page, staging it and making it accessible” Festival goer 

“ I haven’t seen Canterbury buzzing with such excitement in a very long time – it had the atmosphere of the Edinburgh Fringe” Festival goer


  • May & September each year

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