We are very proud to say that the NCLA have launched Crossings: Newcastle Poetry Festival 2018! The programme is now live and tickets are available from the University’s webstore and through our partners Sage Gateshead and Northern Stage.
The 2018 programme was launched last Thursday 15 March by Scottish Makar and Newcastle Professor of Creative Writing, Jackie Kay. The packed-out event was held in the beautiful civic space of The Mining Institute, with photos of festival participants projected onto the back wall of the auditorium during the speeches and readings.
The evening began with opening remarks from Festival Directors Linda Anderson and Sinéad Morrissey, with Sinéad commenting on the various metaphorical ‘crossings’ that will take place during the festival: ‘namely the translation of poetry from one language and culture to another, or collaborative acts between poets and painters, poets and musicians, poets and film makers’. Linda Anderson gave a warm introduction to her good friend Jackie Kay, mentioning how an audience member once described Jackie as a ‘walking hug of a poet’.
Jackie charmed her listeners with evocative poems and brilliant anecdotes. She conveyed numerous stories about her family, particularly her elderly parents’ reaction to their daughter becoming the Makar two years ago: ‘We will have to see out your term in office!’ Poems such as ‘Perfume’ and ‘Margaret’s Moon’ had themes of mothers and daughters, and Jackie ended her reading with the very moving ‘April Sunshine’. It’s no surprise that Jackie had her audience in equal amounts of laughter and tears.
The event was a first for those who recently joined the Friends of the Festival programme. The special guests were able to get first peek at the programme content, as well as pick up the new Newcastle Poetry Festival tote bag.
Our next poetry festival event will be the launch of Crossings with American poet Jorie Graham on Wed 2 May at The Boiler House, Newcastle University.