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We're delighted to be co-hosting the Northern Poetry Symposium with NCLA Newcastle University at the Sage on the 2nd May again this year. Check out the full programme here and book your tickets early!




2ND MAY | 10:00-17:00 | Sage Gateshead | Northern Rock Foundation Hall

Inter/Ventions: Art and Poetry | 10:15 – 11:15

Irene Brown, Head of Fine Art at Newcastle University, leads the discussion on cross-art collaborations between poetry, film and visual arts with artist and poet Sophie Herxheimer, who illustrates Poetry London magazine; internationally renowned artist and poet Alec Finlay and French poet-artist Iris Colomb, whose live art/poetry interventions expand the possibilities of traditional poetry readings.

Inter/Active: The Digital Frontier and Pioneering Poetry | 11:20 – 12:20

Jon Stone, editor of Sidekick Books’ Robot Poetry Anthology, delves into the interactive world of poetry and cutting-edge technology, from Artificial Intelligence to robo-poetics and gaming, to reveal how innovation is re-inventing poetry. The panel will also include poet JR Carpenter, winner of the Dot Award for Digital Literature, Stephen Sexton, whose Super Mario-inspired poetry is forthcoming from Penguin this year, and Naho Matsuda, creator of an immersive installation which transformed live smart data into an ever-changing poem at the Great Exhibition of the North.


Inter/Ruptions: Playful Forms/Transforming Poetry | 13.20 – 14.20

Leading poetry critic and editor of The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, Jeremy Noel-Tod chairs a panel on the playful forms disrupting traditional definitions of poetry. World-class innovators including the distinguished American poet and essayist Mary Ruefle, Ledbury Forte Prize winner Sandeep Parmar, and filmmaker, poet and digital artist, Ahren Warner, examine the transformations at play in poetry today, from micro-poems to lyrical essays, spoken word and prose poems.

Inter/Pretations: Poetry and the Body | 14:40 – 15:40

Linda Anderson, poet and Professor of Modern English and American Literature at Newcastle University, explores the interplay between poetry and the body. This panel includes Forward prize-shortlisted poet Malika Booker, Helen Ivory, author of The Anatomical Venus, and prize-winning author of playtime and physical, Andrew McMillan. The panel will consider a range of ways in which poetry interacts with the body, from LGBTQ and feminist perspectives, to interpretative dance.

Inter/Play Performance: Poetry Reading | 16:00 – 17:00

Join us for the Inter/Play in action with three stars of the symposium: Stephen Sexton’s debut collection If All the World and Love Were Young is forthcoming from Penguin; Poet and PBS Selector, Sandeep Parmar, is the author of The Marble Orchard and Eidolon(Shearsman); and Malika Booker is a multi- disciplinary artist whose work is rooted in storytelling.

We also offer combined ticket discount for those wishing to stay on for the evening events featuring incredible these two poetry and music collaborations:

7pm Hall Two Sage Gateshead

Gone Westering: Poet Sinéad Morrissey joins forces with Shetland fiddler and composer, Catriona Macdonald, to explore Norwegian folklorist Arne Bjørndal’s visit to Shetland in 1949 through a complex interweaving of voice and music, ideas of tradition, the dynamics of archives, and our connection to the past.

Brecht Then & Now
Poet David Constantine and translator Tom Kuhn present the life and times of the great German writer Berthold Brecht in an electric performance fusing poems,  songs, music and photographs. Focusing on the years 1922-1933, they trace the vagaries of the Weimar Republic and the Rise of National Socialism through the lens of Brecht’s poetry, translated into English for the first time as a complete edition.


Full tickets (for the symposium and the evening events) are only £25.10 (Students £19.60) BOOK HERE. Day tickets for the Symposium only are £15 or £13.50 for PBS MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL or £10 for students HERE.

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