The 2014 Festival: Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know

The Rochester Literature Festival is proud to present its second annual festival, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.


We’re delighted to be opening this year with an hilarious and heart-warming one woman show with actress Sunny Ormonde – the outrageous Lilian Bellamy from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running soap.

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Art Display at Strood Library

The Rochester and West Kent Art Society is exhibiting at Strood Library from Monday, June 3rd to Saturday, June 29th.

2013-6 Rochester and West Kent Art SocietyExhibiton - Invitation flyer

A number of local artists will be displaying their work, which incorporates a variety of topics and mediums. The exhibition is open from 10am to 3pm daily and you can contact the society by email at: or check them out on their website  or like them on Facebook.

Dates for your Diary: Writers’ Rendezvous & Garden Party

With news that Eastgate House Gardens are off limit for July, due to their renovation work, we’re pleased to announce that the Garden Party will this year be held at The Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester, on Sunday, July 14th.


As the Garden Party is a part of this summer’s Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival, the Good Intent is a perfect venue, located, as it is, smack bang in the middle of many of the artists also taking part. So check out the map when it’s published and work your cultural way around Rochester, stopping off at the GI for a well earned break between 12noon and 4pm. You’ll be able to enjoy storytelling, open mics, music and a special edition of Seasonally Effected.

More details will be released soon; we look forward to seeing you there 🙂

Before then, sample the delights of Seasonally Effected at the Dot Cafe this Wednesday, May 29th and follow it up with the Summer Writer’s Rendezvous, which will take place in the Two Brewers, Rochester High Street, on Thursday, June 13th, from 7.30pm. Bring some writing along to share, or don’t, it’s entirely up to you but be assured of a warm welcome from fellow writers and readers.

Kaleidoscope at Rochester Art Gallery; Zara Carpenter in the Craft Case


Photo: Kaleidoscope Collection. Ink 2013. Hand and computer generated images, digitally printed cotton sateen, 100x100cm Neil Bottle

Neil Bottle’s exquisite new Kaleidoscope series of printed textiles explores the relationship between digital textile printing and craft printing techniques and has been created especially for this solo exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery.

To find out more about this exhibition, which runs from tomorrowe, May 17th to July 14th, please visit Rochester Art Gallery & Craft case exhibitions and activities.

Craft Case

Medway based milliner Zara Carpenter, makes unique bespoke sculptural headpieces and ready-to-wear hats, using found objects. Inspired by nature, 1920s design, Dutch still life paintings, fantasy books and films, Zara’s beautiful pieces are wearable works of art.


Free Family Collage Workshops
Saturday, 29 June, 10.30am to 12.30pm or 1.30 to 3.30pm.
Join Fashion Textile students from UCA throughout the day, to create a collage inspired by the geometric patterns, colours and images used in the Kaleidoscope collection. Suitable for accompanied children aged seven years or older.

Free artist talk
Saturday, 6 July, 1 to 2.30pm
Join textile designer Neil Bottle for an informal gallery talk and exhibition tour. Find out more about how he creates his unique richly layered digital images, his inspiration, techniques and his new Kaleidoscope collection.

Advance booking is essential as places are limited. Phone 01634 338319 or email

For more information about Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case please visit phone 01634 338319 or email

Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case, Medway Visitor Information Centre, Ground Floor, 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LX.

Potlatch Collective Poem #13


I lost my lfe in my second life

A post life where I was free

The sun rose every day anew

A bright etchasketch moment witnessed by the milkman

Two pints. On the doorstep. She’d asked for more.

Just like the day before

I thought I’d seen that couple

Before in a distant land

The old ship lay …

This is a collective poem from the Literary Potlatch, written by the participants on the day, with each of them only able to see the previous line.  At present, the image accompanying it is a stock photo but we would really love someone to respond to the poem visually, as only an original image can possibly do it justice. Full credit will of course be given. Please email if you’re interested in creating something special we can share. Thank you. :)