HE WILL be holding workshops and performances across the city for the next five months.

Winchester Poetry Festival has announced its Poet on the High Street following support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Jonny Fluffypunk is a stand-up poet and performer who fuses 'autobiography, disillusionment and wonder into work', which has established him as a firm favourite at gigs, festivals and arts centres.

During his residency, Jonny will take the community and businesses on a journey of expression, imagination and creativity to shine a light on the changing face of the historic city’s High Street.

He said: “I’m very proud and excited to be starting this residency with the Winchester Poetry Festival. I'm a stand-up poet, not in the strictly 'comedy' sense, though there is a lot of humour in what I do, but in the sense that I'm most at home amongst people. I enjoy connecting with those who wouldn't usually be into poetry, so I am very much looking forward to working with all sorts of people and asking them to dig where they stand and look around, to draw inspiration from the historic fabric of the city and from their own memories.

“The pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, but I want to help to reawaken the city’s sense of place and use the power and playfulness of words to help stimulate community recovery and build meaningful connections.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Jonny Fluffypunk

Winchester Poetry Festival has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,100 for the Poet on the High Street and has also received financial support from a successful crowdfunding campaign as well as grants from Winchester City Council, Winchester BID and the Town Forum.

Jonny will work with local schools to introduce younger audiences to the power of poetry and will take part in the festival’s live event in October.

Jane Bryant, Chairman of Winchester Poetry Festival, said: “We are delighted to be working with Jonny and hope the Poet on the High Street will ignite a creative spark in all of us and re-establish our sense of wellbeing after what has been a very difficult time.

“We are incredibly grateful to have received the support from Winchester’s business groups as well as National Lottery players through the Heritage Fund. We hope the residency will excite the community and create positive business engagement throughout our city.”

Jonny became inspired by poetry at a very early age from his mother reciting Keats and Shelley at the breakfast table.

He said: “My mother adored poetry and always encouraged me in English at school. I grew up with the radio drifting out the kitchen window while I was playing in the garden and when I heard Attila the Stockbroker for the first time, it gave me a massive punky thrill – and it was all done with words, not music.

“Poetry has the ability to transport us to other worlds, make us feel things we've never felt before and give us the confidence and belief to try things.

“I’m looking forward to taking poetry out to the people of Winchester and using the power of words to link people with the heritage that surrounds them, reignite our optimism, and unify a very special community."