Skip to main content
Green text on a yellow background reads Newcastle Poetry Festival 2023 Community 11-13 May

NPF 2023: Northern Poetry Symposium

This event has passed

This event has passed



Award winning poet and Newcastle University’s Chancellor Imtiaz Dharker offers a warm welcome to our poetry community.

10.15 – 11.15 AM FESTIVAL FOCUS

The symposium launches with a dynamic skill-sharing session from leading poetry events programmers. Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, University of London, convenes a discussion with Linda Anderson (Founder, Newcastle Poetry Festival), Lily Blacksell (Literature Programmer at the Southbank Centre, Public Events and Partnerships Manager at the Royal Society of Literature), Kim Moore and Clare Shaw (Co-Directors Kendall Poetry Festival) plus Theresa Munõz (current Director, Newcastle Poetry Festival). How can poetry festivals foster community and reach new readers? Join us to learn the latest best practice from experts.

Next stop, India. The British Council’s Literature Programme Manager Rebecca Hart chairs a virtual panel celebrating the British Council’s International UK-India Publishing Fellowship – an exciting case study of global poetry community in action. We’ll be joined virtually by Hindi translator, poet and Copper Coin Publisher Sarabjeet Garcha and Marathi translator, poet and anti-caste Dalit publisher Yogesh Maitreya from Panther’s Paw Publishing. Plus the award-winning poet and Sanskrit translator Mani Rao (Wave of Beauty, HarperCollins). This is your chance to discover the exhilarating range of Indian poetries, consider how to engage marginalised communities and learn more about mother tongue poetry in translation. Come join our international fellowship of poets!


A free networking lunch is included in the £20 (£15 conc.) ticket price, so you can continue those vital conversations within the poetry community and enjoy a rare chance to chat with poets, publishers, readers and fellow poetry fans.


Malika Booker (Pepper Seed, Peepal Tree) who founded Malika’s Poetry Kitchen to nurture generations of poets since 2001, chairs this panel in celebration of poetry collectives. Featuring the Forward prize winner and Ledbury Critic Stephanie Sy Quia (Amnion, Granta) alongside MPK alumni poet and playwright Inua Ellams (The ActualPitM), who launched a Global Collective Poem during lockdown; and the award-winning poet and artistic director for Barbican Young Poets, Jacob Sam-La Rose. We’ll explore shared challenges and successes, how poetry collectives have re-shaped the literary landscape and how we’re stronger together.


Our final panel tackles how poetry can represent and reach more diverse communities. The PBS Summer Choice Airea D Matthews joins virtually from the US to share her searing examination of race and economic inequality in Bread & Circus (Picador). We’ll also hear from LGBT+ Poet Laureate Adam Lowe’s new collection Patterflash (Peepal Tree). Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa on neurodiversity, notions of “blackness” and how to decolonise the page in Cane, Corn & Gully (Outspoken) and Jamie Hale (Shield, Verve Press), founder of the UK’s first “Disabled Poets Prize” and CRIPtic Arts, will reframe perspectives on poetry and disability. How can we make the poetry community more inclusive?


Join us for a powerful collective poetry experience to close the day’s discussions, featuring new poems from Malika Booker and an electrifying choreo-poetry performance by Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa.