Congratulations Coventry –UK City of Culture 2021 – Not Business As Usual

Silhouette Press is very happy to see that Coventry, the city, its citizens and the all of the artists, cultural organisations and the Coventry 2021 Bid Team have been awarded the status of UK City of Culture for the year 2021! Congratulations to All!


So what could this mean for the city’s writers, poets, performers and publishers?

Coventry is not often associated with writers and writing – but there have been numerous artists and publishers passing in and out of the city – recognition of the city’s literary legacy needs to change – hopefully Coventry 2021 – and the build-up to this will be the year[s] to make this happen – no more “business as usual”!

Here are ten things to consider to get involved and get engaged:

1.Make Coventry 2021 YOUR year to make things happen!

Coventry 2021 – and the three years of build-up towards it – are a great opportunity to start writing or start reading and tell new stories about the changing face of the city at a crucial period in its evolution!

Monkey read, monkey type [x1000]
 2. Fire & Dust – Poetry and Storytelling Open-Mic

Did you know there is a monthly open-mic night open to EVERYONE to come and read their work in front of a living breathing audience – or you can just sit and listen and soak in the words! There also special guests!



Fire & Dust – FIRST THURSDAY of every month @ The Big Comfy Bookshop [Fargo]

3. Buy / Read / Submit to Here Comes Everyone magazine

HCE is the only literary magazine published in Coventry – each quarterly issue is printed on real [recycled] trees and has a theme – their forthcoming BRUTAL issue will be out in December 2017.



You can buy the magazine and read blog posts on their website:


4. Check out Philip Larkin  [but remember it’s not all about him!]

Philip Larkin remains an important aspect of Coventry’s literary – but there is much, much more to Coventry’s contemporary story – and bear in mind that much of Larkin’s work was produced and most likely influenced by Hull, where he lived for most of his adult life [HULL being the previous winner of the UK City of Culture]

5. Be a Part of Coventry’s 2.2 Mile Ringroad Poem!

Along with the Coventry 2021 bid’s themes of Reinvention there are plans for a 2.2 mile Ring Road poem is set to one of the digital centrepiece of 2021 along with major productions by the RSC and the screening of the entire works of Shakespeare in iconic locations.

Bridge over


Make your Mark and get involved!

6. Coventry-Cork Poetry Exchange

Nearing its 10th year, the Coventry-Cork poetry exchange has seen Coventry and West Midland writers visit Cork, Ireland and for Cork writers to visit Coventry  and perform their work. Coventry invented twinning as part of its post-World War Two movement towards peace and reconciliation and the Exchange is a result of this. Find out more about the Coventry poet’s experience here: COVENTRY – CORK – POETRY EXCHANGE 2017 


7. Buy / Read Silhouette Press Books

Silhouette Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry books, we like to think we have grown our own audience, and have published writers from across the UK [hey, it’s not all about Coventry] – we’re still seeking new writers [see the SUBMISSION page on our website] check out our BOOKS [they are also available to read for FREE in Coventry Central Library]



The Best of a Bad Situation – by Jamie Thrasivoulou

The Africa In My House by Andrea Mbarushimana

Love And Loss And Other Important Stuff by Jonathan Pinnock

Exclamation Marx! by Neil Laurenson

8. Meet/talk to your Coventry authors…and find new ones!

There are lots of great contemporary writers from Coventry, some published others on the cusp of being published – connect with them – start a conversation about your own writing and support the author!

Here are just a few names:

Antony Owen, Andrea Mbarushimana, Barry Patterson, Alan van Widjgerden, Raef Boylan, Felicity Rose Barrow, Mantra, Leanne Brigewater, SuCat, Richard Houguez, Russ Berry, Emilia Moniszko, Martin Green, Aysar Ghassan, James Grady, Cathy Galvin,  Josie Allen…

Did we miss anyone? Probably…so get yourself out there!


9. START YOUR OWN writing/press/magazine/zine/poetry gig

Silhouette Press and Here Comes Everyone magazine are a DIY effort, started in 2012 due to a lack of publishing opportunities in the West Midlands and to avoid the Londo-Centrism of unpaid internships and personal debt [the founders are now retired or assumed missing at sea…] but Coventry needs more literary events, more writers out of the woodwork, more publications to tell its ongoing story!

Mag Covers Wallpaper

Great article about the process here

10. Be an Ambassador for Writing in Coventry

Silhouette Press currently divides its projects between Coventry and London – why? Because there is a whole world of writing out there, and its important that as much as Coventry develops its own writing scene, the city and its authors connect and grow links with other communities and places across the UK, indeed, The World.

L-R: Neil Laurenson, Dwane Reads, Antony Owen

Check out the very funny and profound meanderings of the blogger/author, Coventry Conch

SP did a book launch for our three most recent books at Housmans Bookshop in London  – WHY? Because it’s important for Coventry artists to be represented EVERYWHERE!

So take your mad, wild, brilliant words far and wide and help make Coventry 2021 the year of the word!