A POETRY festival is coming to Cumbria this weekend to celebrate the 250th birthday of Wordsworth.

The BBC’s Contains Strong Language festival will be at Tullie House in Carlisle on Saturday as part of three days of spoken word readings from local and national artists.

It will be broadcast across the BBC network and will feature local voices such as Jacob Polley with his latest play, Emergency, which is set in Carlisle during the 2005 floods..

Festival director Sue Roberts, the head of BBC Radio Drama Genre in Salford, said: “The festival started as part of Hull City of Culture but we wanted to bring it to Cumbria in Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary year.

“It’s a place that’s inspired so much of the nation’s best-loved verse and is full of talented poets.

“It’s been a tough year of Covid cancellations which has made us even more determined to deliver this celebration of poetry for authors and audiences.

“Most events will be broadcast or streamed but we’re also bringing small, free, socially-distanced events to Tullie House & the Forum helping to support these important cultural venues as live performance comes back.”

BBC 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network will also be announcing the winners of Words First in an event streamed from Tullie House.

It was a nationwide search for the next best spoken word artist.

On Friday the festival will be at Dove Cottage in Grasmere featuring live broadcasts of BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and Radio 3’s The Verb.

On Sunday, they will be at The Forum in Barrow which will include a special broadcast on Radio 4 by Luke Wright as he uncovers the secrets of Barrow through poetry.

There will also be readings from national artists such as Ian McMillan, Malika Booker and Helen Mort.

For more information about the weekend of events, visit bbc.co.uk/arts