NEWS: Transformations – Newcastle Poetry Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Terrance Hayes

The four day poetry extravaganza returns to Northern Stage and Sage Gateshead from Wednesday 1st until Saturday 4th May, and brings with it readings, film screenings, workshops, exhibitions, live music and performance.

With a focus on exploring change through poetry – from the personal to the political – the festival’s line-up crosses genres and borders. The launch event at Northern Stage features critically acclaimed American poet Terrance Hayes, who considers America’s contemporary moment – from gun crime to racism in the White House; Sage Gateshead plays host to the Northern Poetry Symposium, a day-long delve into poetry, art and digital technologies on Thursday 2nd. Also on Thursday at Sage Gateshead, Irish poet Sinéad Morrissey explores ideas of tradition with Shetland fiddler and composer Catriona Macdonald.

The festival’s annual poetry translation reading at Northern Stage on Friday 3rd welcomes South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon, poet and translator Don Mee Choi, Brazilian poet Adelaide Ivánova and Rachel Long, founder of Octavia: Poetry Collective for Women of Colour. The afternoon poetry reading sees a fusion of prose, image and experimental voices from Emily Hasler, Phoebe Power and Andrew McMillan; while later in the day, ‘radical formalist’ Marilyn Hacker joins Hannah Sullivan and Toby Martinez de las Rivas for tales of redemption and innocence. The evening In Conversation event features American essayist and erasure artist Mary Ruefle.

The final day of the programme at Northern Stage features readings from Newcastle University MA students; the winners of the inaugural Newcastle Poetry Competition and Young People’s Poetry Prize will be announced; and there are readings from Slovenian writer Aleš Šteger and Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson among others.

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