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IES at the Newcastle Poetry Festival

The Institute of English Studies is supporting the seventh Newcastle Poetry Festival. The theme for 2023 is ‘Community’.

The Newcastle Poetry Festival, which is now in its seventh year, is taking place from 11-13 May with a series of in-person and online events. The theme for 2023 is ‘Community’, and the festival will explore poetry’s contribution to different communities and the power of writing collectives to encourage creativity.

The Institute of English Studies (IES) at the School of Advanced Study is contributing to the festival in a number of ways.

IES Director, Professor Clare Lees, is convening a discussion on ‘Festival Focus’ on Thursday 11th May. Professor Lees will be joined by Linda Anderson, Founder of Newcastle Poetry Festival; Lily Blacksell, Literature Programmer at the Southbank Centre; Kim Moore and Clare Shaw, Co-Directors of Kendall Poetry Festival; and Theresa Muñoz, Director of Newcastle Poetry Festival.

The session will consider the challenges of running a poetry festival, and explore the benefits for poets, audiences and publishers. Do festivals contribute to a sense of community? What kind of research can contribute to their success?

Later that day, IES Practitioner in Residence, Inua Ellams, is taking part in a panel discussion on poetry collectives. Ellams will join a panel of poets and writers, including Malika Booker, Stephanie Sy Quia and Jacob Sam La Rose, to discuss how poetry collectives have re-shaped the current poetry landscape and how we’re stronger together.

Professor Lees will also introduce a special event sponsored by the IES on Friday 12th May. Imtiaz Dharker and Carol Ann Duffy, two world-leading poets, will read their work accompanied by the music of Duffy’s long-time collaborator John Sampson, in what is sure to be a memorable evening. Both in-person and digital tickets are available for this event.

Professor Lees said,

“The Institute of English Studies is delighted to help support the Poetry Festival again this year. The festival features some of the most exciting poets at work today, and its readings, workshops and symposium provide an immersive engagement for poets and creators, readers, researchers and enthusiasts.

“I’m honoured to represent the Institute of English Studies, the School of Advanced Study and the University of London at this important event.”

Find out more about the festival, and buy tickets here.