Friday 10th

10.30-11.30 Mountain Poets Summit £8/£6

The International Poetry Symposium reconvenes for a Mountain Poets Summit. Mountaineer and T.S. Eliot prize shortlisted poet Helen Mort (A line Above the Sky: On Mountains and Motherhood) unites mountain poets from across the world for a soaring discussion to map ideas of home and consider how place shapes poetry. We’ll journey across the Alps with Swiss poet Rolf Hermann (Cartography of Snow) to the Himalayas, with a virtual appearance from Bhutanese poet Sonam Pem Tshoki, and the Canadian Rockies with Alycia Pirmohamed (Another Way to Split Water). Pack your Kendal Mint Cake and prepare to be transported!

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With the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

12-1pm OUT OF PLACE: POETRY OF WITNESS & REFUGE £8/£6/£3

The award-winning American poet Carolyn Forché, editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-century Poetry of Witness, hosts this vital discussion with leading diaspora poets on exile and refuge. The British-Ukrainian poet Charlotte Shevchenko Knight shares her searing debut Food for the Dead about the current conflict, Marjorie Lotfi explores her childhood flight from the Iranian Revolution in her PBS Recommendation The Wrong Person to Ask and Yousif M. Qasmiyeh creates poetry from his experience of the Baddawi refugee camp in Lebanon (Writing the Camp). How can we find refuge in poetry and bear witness to current global crises?

In person tickets here.

This event will be live-streamed and digital tickets are available here.

2-3pm Women Poets in Translation | £8/£6/£3

Both women in translation and women translators have long been underrepresented in publishing. In 2018, less than one third of books translated into English were by women. So we’re celebrating two leading poets from Tbilisi, Georgia, and their three collaborative translators.

Salome Benidze’s work explores romantic love and all its corollaries: longing, regret, trauma, confession, revelation, even war. Meanwhile, Diana Anphimiadi’s award-winning collection Why I No Longer Write Poems takes us from the contemporary thrum of a train carriage to the ancient grievance of the women of Greek myth.

These poets have been translated by three prize-winning women writers, Natalia Bukia-Peters with Helen Mort and Jean Sprackland respectively, all of whom will join us on stage in Newcastle. We’ll hear poems in Georgian and their English translations, followed by a discussion about women in poetry, translation and language.

This event may cover themes including violence against women, sex and desire. All are welcome but age 14+ recommended. This event is presented by the Poetry Translation Centre, celebrating its 20th birthday across the UK and beyond throughout 2024, and supported by Arts Council England. Find out more at poetrytranslation.org.

Book in person tickets here.

This event will be live streamed and digital tickets are available here.

3.30-4.30pm State of Play: Poets of East and Southeast Asian Poets Heritage in Conversation |£8/£6

We are pleased to bring three poets featured in the anthology State of Play: Poets of East and Southeast Asian Heritage in Conversation (Outspoken Press). Edited by Jennifer Wong and Eddie Tay, the book contains a series of conversations by international poets that took place over a year and explored themes of community, identity and creativity.

Troy Cabida is a Filipino poet based in London. His poems explore sexuality, discrimination and clothing within the sphere of queerness. He is the author of War Dove (Bad Betty, 2020). His recent work has appeared in State of Play, Bi+ Lines, 100 Queer Poems and Tiffany & Co. He works as a Library Assistant for the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre.

Jennifer Wong was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is the author of 回家 Letters Home (Nine Arches Press, 2020), a collection that unravels the complexities of being between nations, languages and cultures. In 2022, she was a visiting fellow of Oxford TORCH. She is also the author of Identity, Home and Writing Elsewhere in Contemporary Chinese Diaspora Poetry (Bloomsbury, 2023) and a co-editor of State of Play: Poets of East and Southeast Asian Heritage in Conversation (Outspoken Press, 2023).

Kit Fan’s third poetry collection The Ink Cloud Reader (2023) contains poems which explore love, loss, politics and place. It was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. He is the author of two books of poems, As Slow As Possible (2018) and Paper Scissors Stone (2011). His first novel is Diamond Hill (2021). He reviews regularly for The Guardian and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022.

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This event is supported by the Newcastle University Institute of Creative Practice.

5-6pm Harry Man, Jane Burn, Linda France | £8/£6

This event is a celebration of award-winning poets based in North and who explore language, the environment, art and pop culture in their work.

Harry Man is a poet, editor and translator. His pamphlet, co-authored with Endre Ruset, Utøya Thereafter is published by Hercules Editions. It was a Dagblaget and a Broken Sleep Book of the Year. His first collection Popular Song is available from Nine Arches. He is Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University.

Jane Burn is an award-winning poet, hybrid writer and working-class disabled person. Her work is widely published. Her current collection, Be Feared, is available from Nine Arches. Her next collection, The Apothecary of Flight, will be published in July, also by Nine Arches. She is the Michael Marks Awards Environmental Poet of the Year 2023/24.

Linda France was the UK’s first Climate Writer in Residence, with Newcastle University and New Writing North, and her tenth collection Startling (Faber & New Writing North 2022) arose from that work. The Knucklebone Floor (Smokestack 2022) won the Laurel Prize for the year’s best collection of nature and environmental poetry. Linda was named inaugural Environmental Poet of the Year 2022-23 in the Michael Marks Awards for her sequence Letters to Katłįà. She won the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition in 2013 and has received a Society of Authors’ Cholmondeley Award. Her pamphlet Took My Way Down, Like a Messenger, to the Deep from Blueprint Poetry Press is a crown of sonnets set to the backdrop of paintings of Surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington.

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This event is supported by the Newcastle University Institute of Creative Practice.

6.30-7.30pm Carol Ann Duffy & Imtiaz Dharker |£8/£6/£3

We’re delighted to be hosting a reading again this year by two of the UK’s most distinguished and engaging poets.

This month marks the publication of Imtiaz Dharker’s seventh poetry collection with Bloodaxe, Shadow Reader, a collection which pays attention to wilful erasures, exclusions and also to places of sanctuary. While it acknowledges the shadows lurking in the everyday, it is also an irreverent, joyful celebration of life and, like all her work traces a delicate connection, between her drawings, much more than illustrations, and her writing. Imtiaz was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 2014 and is the Chancellor of Newcastle University. She also runs an offshoot of her hugely successful Poetry Live for schools in the region during the festival.

Carol Ann Duffy was UK Poet Laureate for a decade from 2009 – 2019, and her tenure was distinguished by her generosity and inclusiveness in relation to other poets. She won the PEN Pinter Prize in 2012 and was made DBE in the 2015 New Year Honours list. In 2021, she was awarded the International Golden Wreath for a lifetime achievement in poetry. ‘I like to use simple words in a complicated way’ she has said of her own writing. However, her poetry is also full of imaginative leaps, as she travels through time, through the minds of characters, finding verbal nuance, irony, joy and music in the everyday. She is currently Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Book in person tickets here.

This event will be live-streamed and digital tickets are available here.

This event is supported by the Institute of English Studies.