The Newcastle Poetry Festival was established in 2015 by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) with the aim of bringing international and UK-based poets, as well as exhibitions, films and artworks, to Newcastle.

This year’s theme of Crossings explores notions of borders, art, travel and music in relation to poetry. Crossings will feature Free-Forms: music and poetry collaborations at the Sage Gateshead featuring Tyehimba Jess with Binker & Moses, and Fernando Valverde with Juan Pinilla; Northern Poetry Symposium with PoetTrio, the Poetry Book Society and NCLA featuring panels, readings and workshops; Royal Literary Fund Lecture by Sasha Dugdale; and a double launch: poems inspired by the paintings of Sean Scully and Waves and Bones, poems inspired by the Northumbrian Coast.

The festival began in 2015 and was the culmination of The Poetics of the Archive, a project exploring the Bloodaxe Archive, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The festival featured readings from international poets, as well as the presentation of new works created by poets in response to the Bloodaxe Archive. Photographs of the 2015 festival are available here.

Following the success of the initial festival, in 2016 NCLA hosted the second Newcastle Poetry Festival, which presented art commissions, an exhibition of collaborative work by young poets and artists, as well as readings by poets from the USA: Don Share, Stephen Burt, Carolyn Forché and Matthew Dickman. View our 2016 highlights video.

In Time was the theme of the 2017 festival, which explored notions of timeliness, history and music. In Time featured music and poetry collaborations at Sage Gateshead including performances by Royal Northern Sinfonia, readings from UK-based and international poets, the launch of a new poetry app Steps in Time: a poem-walk through Newcastle upon Tyne, a poetry symposium, as well as workshops, panel discussions, films, exhibitions, book signings and food stalls.

For inquiries about the festival, please contact the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts at