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At the heart of English folk

Schedule and speakers


Registration: from 9.15am
Speakers and presentations: 10am
Lunch: 12pm
Performances (1st group of schools): 12.45pm
Networking tea break: 2.30pm*
Performances (2nd group of schools): 3.30pm*
Drinks reception: 5.30pm
Event ends: 6.30pm


Key note speaker

John Agard: poet, playwright and short story writer

John Agard

John is one of the most popular and highly-regarded poets writing in Britain today. He has won numerous awards for his work as a poet, playwright, and short-story writer, who has written prolifically for both children and adults, including the prestigious Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2012 for excellence in poetry, the Smarties Book Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry, the Cholmondeley Award, the Casa de las Americas Poetry Award, the Guyana prize and the CLPE Award.

His highly acclaimed The Young Inferno (Frances Lincoln) fires Dante into the 21st Century in a red hot retelling and Bloodaxe publish his poetry for adults including such classics as Listen Mr Oxford Don and The Palm Tree King. His poem Half-Caste, published in 2005, has been featured for several years in the AQA English GCSE anthology.

Alongside poetry, he has written verse plays and librettos for venues including Little Angel Theatre and the Glyndebourne Festival. He has been a writer-in-residence at the BBC, the Southbank Centre and the National Maritime Museum.
Born in Guyana, John moved to the UK in 1977, and currently lives in East Sussex with his partner the poet Grace Nicholls. John tours widely giving performances and talking to schoolchildren studying his poetry for GCSE.

Find out more about John



Eliza Carthy MBE: leading, boundary-crossing folk musician

Eliza Carthy

The daughter of folk musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, Eliza has been performing from a very early age. Describing herself simply as a "modern English musician" Eliza has revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences and has captured the most hardened of dissenters with canny, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance.

With a host of awards and nominations including two nominations for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, Eliza is also the winner of more than five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and has presented awards for MOJO magazine and been invited to judge at both the Q Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards. In 2003 she became the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music.

Vice President of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Eliza is a very busy artist, writing and performing as a solo artist, with her own band, The Imagined Village (original member) and with family. Over the years she has collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Paul Weller, Jools Holland, Joan Baez and Cerys Matthews. She divides her time between touring and recording with her legendary parents Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson (as Waterson, Carthy and the Gift Band) and pioneering solo and band projects, currently focusing on her solo songwriting material and the Imagined Village. 

Eliza is also a committed folk music educator who has recently taken up the role of Folkworks Artistic Associate at Sage Gateshead.

Visit Eliza’s website


Panel speakers

Dr Alison Daubney
Teaching Fellow and Music Teacher Trainer, University of Sussex, and respected freelance music education consultant.

Alison will facilitate a panel of teachers and artists who have been involved in The Full English learning programme including the following people.

Ben Stephenson
Head Teacher, Marton Primary School, Lincolnshire

Bobak Walker
Dance Artist and Choreographer (including The Lock In)

Ingrid McLean
Subject leader for music at Hanham High School, Bristol

Hazel Askew
Folk musician and educator



Representatives from two of The Full English cultural partner organisations will present the highlights of how The Full English programme has contributed to the life of their venues through family, community and adult learning events which have introduced new people to folk arts heritage.

David Agnew
Director, The Met, Bury

Pat Dawson
Producer: Learning and Participation, mac birmingham


Compere for showcase performances

Debs Newbold
Exuberant performance storyteller with a growing national and international reputation.
Visit Debs' website

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* Timings are indicative


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