Thursday 9th

This year the International Poetry Symposium curated by Poetry Book Society is going global with a series of inspiring sessions blending panel discussions and performances from world-class poets on the 9th and 10th May. We’re journeying around the world with leading poets from Newcastle, Switzerland, the US, Canada, Ukraine, Lebanon, Iran and Bhutan, giving unique insights into their craft and discussing vital issues around In/Out: Place poetry, inclusivity and belonging. Come join our global poetry community and find your PLACE in poetry.

We are grateful to the Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute for supporting the International Poetry Symposium.

1.00-2.00pm International Poetry Symposium: Find Your Place in Poetry £8/£6/£3

Poetic License founder and author of 52 Ways to Write a Poem, Jo Bell, chairs this inspiring discussion to kickstart your poetic practice. Legendary US poet CAConrad (Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return) shares their unique (Soma)tic rituals and alternative routes into poetry, Bloomsbury Editor Kayo Chingonyi (A Blood Condition) considers how to get published, gate-keeping and inclusion, and Tiktok poetry phenomenon and Sunday Times Bestseller Len Pennie Poyums reveals how to gain over a million social media followers. Join us for expert tips (from Crystals to Tiktok!) on how to start writing, reach readers and find your place in poetry.

In person tickets available here

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

2.30-3.30pm International Poetry Symposium: Making a Place for Poetry £8/£6/£3

This panel gathers leading literary organisations for a timely discussion on the next steps in inclusive programming, sustainability and tips on how one can establish a career in the creative industries. Molly Rosenberg is Director of the Royal Society of Literature. She works closely with the RSL’s governing Council to deliver programmes supporting readers and writers across the UK, championing literature for everyone. Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running consultancy for writers. In 2018, Aki set up the Rebecca Swift Foundation (RSF), a charity that advances the craft, creativity and wellbeing of women poets. Ryan Van Winkle is an award-winning author, artist and producer based in Edinburgh. He is currently the Artistic Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival. Chaired by Festival Director Theresa Muñoz.

In person tickets available here.

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

4-5pm In/Out Place Global Showcase: Amelia Loulli, Rolf Hermann & CAConrad introduced by Imtiaz Dharker £8/£6

Join us for a global poetry tour from Newcastle to Europe and the US. Newcastle University graduate Amelia Loulli shares her journey through motherhood and grief towards publishing her debut collection Slip with Cape. Rolf Hermann leads us through time and space to the Swiss Alps and legendary US poet CAConrad travels from their Pennsylvania childhood to Massachusetts, considering class, queer identity and what it means to be In/Out of Place.

In person tickets here.

6.30-7.30pm Abigail Parry & Jane Clarke £8/£6/£3

This year is the 30th anniversary of the T.S.Eliot Prize for Poetry. The prize is awarded annually for the best new collection of poetry and is acknowledged to be ‘the world’s top poetry award’ (Independent). We’re delighted to welcome two poets who were shortlisted for this year’s award, both published by Bloodaxe Books and we congratulate both of them and their publisher.

Abigail Parry’s shortlisted book, I Think We’re Alone Now, is her second collection and follows on from her first collection, Jinx (2018), which was shortlisted for both the Forward First Collection Prize and The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. Though her second book is about intimacy, it follows her first in its playfulness, intelligence, and obliquity. It’s as if language, refuses to do what we want and can’t stop making its own abundant connections.

Jane Clarke’s shortlisted book, A Change in the Air, is her third and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best collection in 2023. Her previous collections The River (2015) and When the Tree Falls (2019), draw strongly on a sense of place, and they were both shortlisted, among other prizes, for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje prize. Growing up on a farm in the west of Ireland, she now lives with her wife in the uplands of Co Wicklow and it is this inheritance – the people, landscape, history and culture – that helps shape her work.

In person tickets here.

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

This event is supported by the T.S. Eliot Foundation.