New Director and Co-Chairs for Ledbury Poetry

Ledbury Poetry is delighted to announce Amy Howard as the new Director (sabbatical cover).

Amy Howard has a diverse professional background, with experience across the marketing, mental health, and arts sectors. Most recently she co-founded a Hereford based arts organisation which merges her love of the arts with a belief in the need to better support the mental health of our communities.

Amy says, “I’m thrilled to be taking on this role with Ledbury Poetry and I can’t wait to see what we achieve together. Poetry is communication. Sometimes soft and elegant, other times visceral and challenging; but always communication. Now more than ever, the world needs people to be hearing each other so I’m excited to be able to celebrate this incredible art form, while forging new connections and pathways to people who have yet to discover that they love poetry. Digital content plays a growing role in the consumption of the arts, and I am eager to develop Ledbury Poetry’s digital presence. Alongside that, I am keen to explore collaborations with a wide range of artists and organisations to develop cross pollinations of poetry and other art forms.”

Amy will be guided and supported by Ledbury Poetry’s Board of Trustees, as well as new co-Chairs, Curtis Fulcher and Michael Amherst.

Curtis Fulcher has worked in the cultural sector at a senior level for over 20 years, with specific specialisms around strategy and business development. Some positions he has held include; Director of the Bridport Prize (international writing competition) and the Bridport Arts Centre, Head of Communications at The Courtyard and is currently working for Gloucestershire Libraries steering development of the 32 sites after achieving Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status in 2023.

Curtis says, “I have a passion for literature and hope to combine my skills with the ambition of Ledbury Poetry to support the organisation on the next step of its journey.” 

Michael Amherst is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. His book-length essay, Go the Way Your Blood Beats, won the 2019 Stonewall Prize for nonfiction, sponsored by the American Library Association, while he also won the 2020 Hubert Butler Essay Prize. Previously he has worked for Just Detention International, a health and human rights organisation that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. He also served on their board from 2010-22. Michael has been a trustee of Ledbury Poetry since 2023.

Michael says, “It’s a privilege to be involved with a local organisation with a global reach in literature and I look forward to supporting Amy and the rest of the staff in all future endeavours.” 

For more information please contact

Notes to Editors

Ledbury Poetry is Inclusive, International, Inspirational

Ledbury Poetry is an arts-based charity registration number 1059465

Ledbury Poetry creates live and online programmes throughout the year culminating in Ledbury Poetry Festival each July. Now in its 28th year, it is the largest and most international celebration of poetry and spoken word in Britain making Ledbury the home of poetry in the UK.

Ledbury Poetry Festival runs 28th June – 7th July 2024.

Ledbury Poetry House, The Barrett Browning Institute in Ledbury is our new home and is a hive of activity welcoming visitors to workshops and events live in Ledbury and online throughout the year. Ledbury Poetry House hosts the Box Office and a Bookshop.

Ledbury Poetry Critics launched its mentorship programme, recruiting 12 critics of colour, in 2017, and has been responsible for increasing the visibility of poets and critics of colour. There are now over 35 critics within the programme founded by Sandeep Parmar and Sarah Howe with support from Ledbury Poetry. Ledbury Poetry Critics introduce and chair events at Ledbury Poetry Festival and the first Guest Curator has been appointed in 2023 from this programme: Stephanie Sy-Quia. Full information on the programme can be found here:

Ledbury Poetry Player ensures that events are available for everyone around the world to enjoy.

Ledbury Poetry Competition runs annually. Prizes include £1,000 and a week’s poetry course with our partner, Arvon.

Ledbury Poetry Salons, Workshops, and Masterclasses are delivered live and online throughout the year. Look for programmes on our What’s On page

Ledbury Poetry Learning projects include work in schools, a monthly young writers group, the ‘Crucial Creators’ and learning opportunities for 16-25 year olds, as well as volunteering training and opportunities for all ages – all of which develop and enhance Ledbury as the Town of Poetry.

For all information and to explore our programmes please visit:

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Ledbury Poetry is grateful for support from Arts Council England



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