AN EXCITING new voice in poetry, Andrew McMillan (pictured) is just one of the acclaimed poets who will be descending on Petersfield for the South Downs Poetry Festival.

He burst on to the scene last year when his debut full collection, Physical, was the first poetry offering to win the prestigious Guardian First Book Award.

Numerous other award nominations and short-lists followed for the Yorkshire-born bard, who will be headlining the evening of poetry at Steep Village Hall on Friday as well as other weekend duties.

The festival line-up also includes Matthew Caley, Penelope Shuttle, Jonathan Edwards, Maggie Sawkins, John Greening, Hilda Sheehan and John Haynes.

Poets will be zig-zagging across East Hampshire on The Poet Bike Tour, adding the tradition of troubadour to proceedings.

These cycling poets include John ‘Shedman’ Davies, Hugh Freasley, Paul Deaton and Hugh Dunkerley. At the Harrow Inn at Steep tomorrow (Thursday), from 8pm to 11pm, they will be joined by musicians Los Ciclista Musico!

Writers putting on workshops include Audi Maserati with Get It Across, Jonathan Edwards with So this is how we love, Stephanie Norgate with Voicing the?Landscape, Andrew McMillan with The Plain Truth and Isabel Rogers with Using autobiography in poems.