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Artist & Poet
in Residence

Artist in Residence, Clare Willcocks

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We are delighted to introduce Clare Willcocks as the festival’s Artist in Residence for 2023.


Clare is a Northam-based artist and illustrator whose practice includes live event illustration, fine art oil and watercolour painting, and teaching workshops. Clare’s personal work is inspired by the North Devon coast,

ranging from familiar scenes to representational wave paintings. Clare will be live painting at events throughout the Festival - she kindly created the new Bookworm artwork for the Family Fun Day, which will be held on Saturday 16th September.

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Clare will also be leading the Appledore Sketch Walk at the Festival on Friday 15th September, 4pm-5.30pm, and Sip 'n' Paint, a fun and creative social evening at St Mary's Hall on Friday 22nd September at 6pm-8.15pm.

Poet in Residence, Michael Hunter

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We are thrilled to introduce Michael Hunter as the first Appledore Book Festival Poet in Residence.   Well known as a poet and naturalist in the area, Michael also released his first collection at last years’ Festival.  Beachcombings is an illustrated poetry collection inspired by the coast, landscapes, flora, fauna and people of North Devon, and his second collection, Haiku – A Tale of Two Hearts, was published earlier this year.

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After writing poetry on and off for over thirty years, Michael started writing seriously in 2020 and launched Heart and Wild in 2022 offering celebratory poetry services for weddings, and other life occasions. He also holds poetry writing workshops, courses and tuition for all ages and abilities, and is designing a range of poetry-inspired printed products including books, cards, art prints and wedding stationery.


Michael will be leading a creative postcard workshop at the Festival on Thursday 21 September, 12noon-1.30pm, and Whose Festival Is It Anyway?  an interactive poetry and comedy evening at the Community Hall the same evening.   Look out for his witty and wise poems on our social media posts, while Michael himself will be popping up at venues throughout the festival with on-the-spot poetry, and a children’s drop in workshop on the Family Trail Blaze.

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