The Festival Team:
Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, Canada and now lives in Edinburgh. She is Research Associate in Contemporary Poetry at Newcastle University and directs the Newcastle Poetry Festival. She has published one collection of poetry, Settle, which shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland and in several international journals including Arc, Canadian Literature, Poetry Review, Southward, The Scores and elsewhere. She has been awarded a British Columbia Arts Council Award, a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship,a Muriel Spark Centenary Award and a Creative Scotland Open Grant. In 2022 she was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Sky Arts Award for her non-fiction.
James Annesley is Acting Dean of Culture and the Creative Arts at Newcastle University. His role involves working with colleagues from across the University and a host of regional and national organisations to shape the strategic direction for the University’s cultural partnerships. Linking partners with the University’s teaching and research strengths in culture and the creative arts, his work involves supporting and planning sector focussed activity and contributing to the University’s broader place and engagement strategy.
Alice Kate Mullen is Manager of the Poetry Book Society. She read English Literature at Durham University and has worked in poetry publishing since 2010, including as Marketing and Events Manager for Carcanet Press, Anvil and PN Review. She previously worked in bookselling and events co-ordinating at Waterstones and Shakespeare & Company, Paris, completed an Arts Council mentorship at Chicago’s Poetry Foundation and was an Assistant Bibliotherapist at Sydney Writers’ Festival. In 2017 she co-founded and curated the inaugural Northern Poetry Symposium at Sage Gateshead with NCLA.
Melanie Birch is the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts Administrator and Event Manager and runs the Festival Marquee during the Newcastle Poetry Festival – pop by and say hello!
Peter Hebden (he/him) is a writer, artist and developer living in the north of England. He recently completed an AHRC-funded interdisciplinary PhD project at Newcastle University in partnership with Bloodaxe Books, investigating innovative digital methods of publishing poetry. Peter’s current research interests are around intersections of poetry with visual art and, in particular, comics. He currently works for Bloodaxe and for the The Poetry Business, and his work with Newcastle Poetry Festival has included creating mobile apps and interactive installations, as well as recording and live-streaming events.
Tamsin Rees (they/them) is the website, design, and marketing assistant for Newcastle Poetry Festival 2023. They are a playwright and illustrator based in the North East of England.
Tamsin is currently completing an AHRC funded PhD in Playwriting at Newcastle University. They are a member of the Orange Tree Writer’s Collective 21/22, and are a published playwright with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama for their play Cheer Up Slug which received a 4 star review from The Guardian.
The Advisory Board:
Linda Anderson recently retired as Professor of English from Newcastle University where she established the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, the Newcastle Poetry Festival and the Bloodaxe Archive. She is now the Chair of Bloodaxe Books. In 2020, after publishing academic books, including on Elizabeth Bishop, she published her first poetry collection, The Station Before, with Pavilion Poetry. It was shortlisted in 2021 for the Seamus Heaney First Collection prize. She was elected an Honorary RSL Fellow in 2020 and awarded an OBE in 2021.
Neil Astley is the editor of Bloodaxe Books which he founded in 1978. His books include many anthologies, most notably those in the Staying Alive series: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Being Human (2011) and Staying Human (2020), along with three collaborations with Pamela Robertson-Pearce, Soul Food and the DVD-books In Person: 30 Poets and In Person: World Poets. He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry, and has published two poetry collections, Darwin Survivor and Biting My Tongue, as well as two novels, The End of My Tether (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award), and The Sheep Who Changed the World. He was given a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books in 1995; is a patron and past trustee of Ledbury Poetry Festival; and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. He lives in the Tarset valley in Northumberland.
Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film maker, Chancellor of Newcastle University. awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. Her six collections, all published by Bloodaxe Books, include Over the Moon and the latest, Luck is the Hook. Her poems have featured widely on BBC radio, television, the London Underground, Glasgow billboards and Mumbai buses. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings and also scripts and directs video films, many of them for non-government organisations working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children in India.