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.

The 2015 festival 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 including Mark Doty, Susan Stewart, Sujata Bhatt, Michael Longley and Kei Miller, 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. Poets who also appeared at the festival included Vahni Capildeo, Mark Waldron, Fleur Adcock, Colette Bryce, Caitriona O’Reilly, Sarah Howe and Kayo Chingonyi, amongst many others. View our 2016 highlights video.

‘In Time’ is the theme of this year’s festival, which explores notions of timeliness, history and music. It will feature 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, The Basil Bunting Poetry Award announcement, a poetry symposium, as well as workshops, panel discussions, films, exhibitions, book signings and food stalls.

The 2017 Newcastle Poetry festival is generously funded by Arts Council England, Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice, the European Regional Development Fund, The Catherine Cookson Foundation, and Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.




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