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 first poetry festival launched in 2015 and was the culmination of The Poetics of the Archive, a project exploring the Bloodaxe Archive. Other festivals have included readings by poets from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the US, and the UK; music and poetry collaborations at the Sage Gateshead with folk and flamenco musicians as well as collaborations with the Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra; and digital apps such as  ‘Crossings’, which initiates a conversation between poetry and painting by allowing visitors to the Hatton/Laing galleries the opportunity to hear specially commissioned poems in relation to the a major exhibition by Sean Scully. Highlights from ‘Crossings 2018’ included the Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Tyehimba Jess exploring the jazz inspiration behind his book Olio with musicians Binker & Moses, and a symposium on poetry translation in partnership with the Poetry Book Society.

This year’s Festival is entitled ‘Transformations’ which celebrates the alchemic results of cross-genre art. The invited poets have received acclaim for their hybrid poetics: these writers challenge traditional forms of poetry by including different elements from other genres including prose, music, visual art and the digital. The festival includes a symposium on ‘interplay’ in poetry in conjunction with the Poetry Book Society, readings by poets from South Korea, Slovenia, the US and the UK, as well as the launch of the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Our festival commissions include politically themed Poetry Posters, the Redactions/Redirections project which includes poems inspired by archives held at Newcastle University and ‘Gone Westering’ and a poetry and music performance based on historical events.

We hope to see you 1-4 May!

Festival Staff:

Linda Anderson

Melanie Birch

John Challis

Pete Hebden

Sinéad Morrissey

Theresa Muñoz