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In 2017 the Poetry Book Society co-founded and curated the Northern Poetry Symposium at Sage Gateshead with Newcastle University's Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts to launch the NCLA Newcastle Poetry Festival.

The symposium was founded as a sector support skill-sharing forum for poets, readers and poetry publishers (big and small). Through a day of lively debates and panel discussions, we united key poetry gatekeepers, editors and producers with readers, in Newcastle, to shift these vital poetry conversations up North! 

This state of the nation summit gathered leading figures from the poetry sector, including National Poetry Day Director, Susannah Herbert; Bloodaxe’s Founder and Editor, Neil Astley; Picador's Editor Don Paterson; Stanza Poetry Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone;  Director of Contains Strong Language & Radio 4 Head of BBC Culture Arts North, Sue Roberts, Carcanet’s Director, Michael Schmidt and Chief Executive of Poet in the City, Isobel Colchester.

The first Northern Poetry Symposium explored the current poetry landscape with a broad overview of key topics affecting the poetry world in 2017, from digital apps to diversity, and inspired exciting new ways of working together to widen audiences for poetry. Future editions have honed in closer on key areas of poetry in translation, innovation and post-covid recovery.




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