SEAN O’Brien, one of the UK’s top poets, will be the main speaker at the Norman Nicholson Festival, to be held at the end of June in Millom.

The festival, which will celebrate the work of the 20th century poet whose lifelong home was in Millom, from 1914 to 1987.

Mr O’Brien’s distinguished literary career has included winning the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, being named Northern Writer of the Year, and becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He will open the Saturday morning festival events on June 29 in Millom Network Centre.

Dr Andrew Frayn, of Edinburgh Napier University, a specialist in 20th century literature, will speak in the afternoon and lead a discussion and workshop.

Saturday evening will see a lively music and poetry event at the Beggar’s Theatre, Millom, featuring the guitar/vocal duo Demix and many of the poets whose work appeared in the 2018 anthology of contemporary Cumbrian poetry This Place I Know.

Highlights on the Sunday include a church service at St George’s Church, Millom, which will include readings from Nicholson and the chance to see a magnificent stained glass window designed by Christine Boyce in memory of Millom’s poet.

There will be a talk and workshop by Rob and Harriet Fraser, of the environmental photography and writing project, Somewhere-Nowhere.

The weekend will also include a creative writing workshop, guided walks to Nicholson locations, and tours of Nicholson’s former home.

The festival, which is organised by the Norman Nicholson Society and supported by the Arts Council, Millom Town Council, and the Millom CGP Trust Fund, will be kick-started on Friday, June 28, with a social gathering at the Clock Tower in Market Square, Millom, 7.30pm.

All events are open to all and the majority are free. Booking is required for some events. Details can be found on the website of the Norman Nicholson Society