Box Office Rush for Poet Laureate Tickets

An overwhelming demand for tickets to see the new Poet Laureate in Winchester next month has prompted organisers to move the event to a bigger venue.  Carol Ann Duffy will now be appearing at The Stripe Theatre, University of Winchester at on Thursday 8 October.

Carol Ann Duffy is the first woman to be appointed Poet Laureate, with a string of publications to her name for both children and adults.  She has been recognized with an impressive list of prizes and honours over the year.  The poet comes to Winchester
at the invitation of The English Project for her first National Poetry Day in post.  She will be giving a reading of her works, followed by a book signing and a chance for informal conversation with members of the audience.

Originally booked to appear at Winchester Discovery Centre, Ms Duffy drew such a high level of interest that all the tickets were snapped up immediately.  Keen to ensure that as many people as possible had the opportunity to enjoy this very special appearance, the trustees of The English Project and their partners Winchester City Council have now secured a larger venue thanks to the generosity of the University of Winchester.  Staff from the Discovery Centre will still be on hand to sell books, including the latest collection edited by Ms Duffy entitled To the Moon: An Anthology of Lunar Poems from Antiquity to the Present Day.

Professor Christopher Mulvey, who first contacted the poet to invite her to Winchester, said: “Our first big public lecture last March by language expert David Crystal was a runaway success, and we seem to be on track for another coup. The goal of The English Project is to celebrate the fascinating and evolving story of the English language in all its many forms, and who better to help us in this than one of the country’s foremost poets?”

Cllr Patricia Stallard, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, commented: “We have supported The English Project since the beginning, recognising its enormous potential to turn the world’s attention on Winchester as the cradle of the English Language. This performance by the Poet Laureate demonstrates the power of the English Project to make exciting things happen in Winchester, and to provide opportunities for local people to enjoy the English language.”

People holding tickets for the Discovery Centre will still be able to use them for admission to The Stripe Theatre, and have been contacted about the change of venue.  Bookings have now reopened at Winchester Tourist Information Centre, and everyone on the waiting list has been informed.  Tickets continue to sell fast and people are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

You can contact the tourist information centre on 01962 840 500 or email  It is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Meanwhile, trustees of The English Project have a busy schedule of events in October, with an initiative to promote a new national English Language Day on 13 October and a series of events – involving young people from across Hampshire and in London – designed to explore the language of law.  Find out more on their website at