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The Northern Poetry Symposium | 9th May | Sage Gateshead

To celebrate our first year in Newcastle, the Poetry Book Society presents The Northern Poetry Symposium with Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts at Sage Gateshead.

Join us on the 9th of May (9am - 6.30pm) to launch the Newcastle Poetry Festival with a day of lively debates, inspirational talks and panel discussions, featuring leading figures from the poetry industry, including National Poetry Day Director, Susannah Herbert; Bloodaxe’s Founder and Editor, Neil Astley; Stanza Poetry Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone; Carcanet’s Managing and Editorial Director, Michael Schmidt and Chief Executive of Poet in the City, Isobel Colchester.

We’ll be exploring key topics affecting the poetry world today, from digital apps to diversity, and inspiring exciting new ways of working together to widen audiences for poetry. Come and join the debate to help shape the future of poetry!

Publishers and literary professionals can claim one FREE ticket per organisation from Standard tickets cost £15 or £10 for PBS Members. Tickets can be bought via Sage or Newcastle Poetry Festival.

Email to PRE-BOOK your tickets now.

Here's the full programme:

Registration is open from 9 am on the concourse at The Sage Gateshead

9.45 - 10am  Welcome from the Chairman and Director of Inpress/PBS in The Barbour Room on Level 2.

10.00-10.35 Is Poetry Relevant Today? 

Michael Schmidt chairs a panel discussion on the relevance of poetry in these troubled times, covering everything from the impact of Trump and Brexit on translation to how to find the next big thing with Erica Jarnes (Poetry Translation Centre), Donald Futers (Penguin Modern Poets) and Mark Byers (Newcastle University).

10.40 -11.20 In Person: World Poets film screening

Neil Astley (Bloodaxe) launches the long-awaited sequel to In Person: 30 Poets with an exclusive film screening preview of this global poetry extravaganza.

11.20 -11.30 Break

11.30 -12.10 Poetry in the Digital Age
Harry Man, creator of the Finders Keepers app, explores the exciting world of digital innovation with leading poetry app experts Henry Volans (Faber T S Eliot App), Peter Hebden (Bloodaxe App ) and digital archivist Ian Johnson (Newcastle University).

12.15-12.55 Print Revival: Poetry as Art Objects
Is the ebook dead? Michael Schmidt discusses the current trend for beautifully printed poetry and the thriving pamphlet and micro press scene with Di Slaney (Candlestick Press), Yvette Hawkins (Book Artist), Luke Allan (Sine Wave Peak) and Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir (Partus Press).

1-2pm Break

2-2.30 Evolution of the Editor
Bloodaxe's founder and editor Neil Astley debates the changing role of the poetry editor in its many guises with Don Paterson (Picador), Degna Stone (Butcher's Dog magazine) and Emma Wright (The Emma Press).

2.35-3.05 Poetry in the Media
How can we use print, radio and social media to reach new poetry audiences? What is the future of the reviewer and print culture? The Poetry School's Creative Director Julia Bird (Poetry School) chairs a lively debate with leading poetry media representatives Sean O'Brien (Guardian), Jen Campbell (Vlogger) and Sue Roberts (BBC Radio).

3.10-3.40 Poetry off the Page
Poet in the City's Chief Executive Isobel Colchester explores how we can bring poetry to life off the page in diverse ways with Spoken Word producer Anthony Anaxagorou (Out-spoken Press), Eleanor Livingstone (Stanza Poetry Festival Director) and Anna Selby who coordinated the Southbank Centre's momentous Poetry Parnassus.

3.40-4.00pm Break

4-4.30pm National Poetry Day Sneak Preview with NPD Director Susannah Herbert.

4.30-5.30pm Break out sessions

Bloodaxe's Simon Thirsk chairs our state of the nation summit to find new ways to widen audiences and readership for poetry. Whether you're an industry professional, a publisher, a student or a poetry reader, every opinion counts!

5.45pm PBS Showcase Reading 

Join us in the Level 3 bar to launch our PBS Summer Choice Sinéad Morrissey with a reading from her new book On Balance.

Steps in Time App Launch

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