Newcastle Poetry Festival 2017 is officially launched!

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Linda Anderson (NCLA director), Theresa Muñoz & John Challis (Research Associates)

Our shiny new programmes are now in print (check out the colours of the Sage Gateshead reflected on the Tyne on the cover!)  This year’s theme ‘In Time’ explores notions of timeliness, history and music. We’re looking forward to welcoming award-winning poets from the UK and beyond, including American poets Carolyn Forché, Patricia Smith and Jericho Brown.

The festival kicks off on Tuesday 9th May with the Northern Poetry Symposium, hosted by the Poetry Book Society at the Sage Gateshead. The day includes talks, debates and panel discussions with leading figures from the poetry industry including National Poetry Day’s Executive Director Susannah Herbert, Bloodaxe Founder and Editor Neil Astley, StAnza Poetry Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone, Carcanet’s Managing and Editorial Director Michael Schmidt and CEO of Poet in the City, Isobel Colchester.

One evening we’re particularly looking forward to is the Music & Poetry Programme on Wednesday 10th May also at the Sage Gateshead.  This innovative evening premieres Notes from Underground, a collaboration between Sean O’Brien and Agustín Fernandez, and conducted by Hugh Brunt; Les Roses, a song cycle by composer Peter Wiegold and poet Jo Shapcott, based on the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke; Margaret’s Moon, a collaboration between Scotland’s Makar Jackie Kay and folk musician Kathryn Tickell, with music based on Kay’s new collection Bantam; Jackself, a musical performance by John Alder and Jacob Polley of Polley’s T.S. Eliot Prize winning collection; and a performances by MacGillivray, one of the nominees of New Scottish Performer of the Year Award 2017.

Along with our exciting poetry events on the Thursday, Friday and Satu rday, there are also workshops on how poetry combines with documentary, film, archival material and visual art by leading poets and artists such as Sinéad Morrissey, Carolyn Forché, Ahren Warner, Kate Sweeney and Wayne Holloway-Smith.