AROUND 80 people helped launch the Friends of the Winchester Poetry Festival.
The festival will be held from September 12-14 and aims to become a major annual festival.
It will celebrate local poets as well as commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War.
The launch event was held in The Deanery with special guest poet Roger McGough giving a short reading.
Mr McGough said: “A city isn’t a city without a poetry festival.”
Festival chairman Robert Hutchison said there were no good regional festivals in the South and this annual event would fill the gap.
He appealed for people to support the event by becoming friends and pledging up to £100 a year.
The launch attracted many local people including Judge Guy Boney QC, Barbara Large, founder of the Winchester Writers’ Conference, mayor and mayoress Ernie and Barbara Jeffs and deputy mayor Eileen Berry.