BRITISH playwright and poet Peter Cooper, who has written for theatre companies throughout the UK, will be taking part in the first Purbeck Literary Festival.

Mr Cooper, an acclaimed playwright, poet and theatre director, specialises in writing for small casts and unusual venues.

He’ll be leading a panel of established poets, set to take part in the festival’s ‘Poetry Junction’ at Swanage’s L’Artishe Gallery, midway through the two-week festival.

This event at the Swanage Gallery will be hosted in conjunction with local publisher Roving Press.

A festival spokesman explained: “Participants will be able to hear poets perform their work, and are encouraged to bring along their own written piece to try out, and discuss what makes poetry work.

A panel of established poets will be on hand to answer questions and to ensure a lively discussion.”

The L’Artishe Gallery event will also feature the 128-page anthology, Dorset Voices: A Collection of New Prose, Poetry and Photographs, by Roving Press.

Julie Musk, from Roving Press, said: “Dorset Voices was an opportunity for new and established writers and photographers to have their work published in something long lasting, a professionally produced local book.

“The result is an original collection of work to inspire others.

“The Poetry Junction has the same ethos, to share and celebrate local talent.

“We hope anyone who writes poetry will take part. Or you can just come and listen and enjoy.”

Poetry Junction starts at 7pm, February 26, at L’Artishe Gallery, High Street, Swanage.

Tickets, costing £6, are available from the gallery or at Discover Purbeck Information Centre, Wareham, on 01929 552 740 or Swanage Tourist Information Centre, on 01929 422 885.

The Purbeck Literary Festival takes place at selected venues between February 17 and March 2. Visit for details.