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Stage Editorial

tjunction18.jpg Poetry down to a T

This year’s T-junction International Poetry Festival in Middlesbrough is taking its cue from the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s voyage on HMS Endeavour.

Middlesbrough-born Cook turned Europeans on to a whole new world of scientific discovery and undreamed people and places, but also colonisation, genocide and environmental destruction. Operating in the tension that exists between these two openings will be this year’s T-junction International Poetry Festival, which will celebrate Teesside’s long international history by focussing on the poetry of travel and discovery, departure and arrival, emigration and immigration, longing and belonging. Among the poets appearing this year will be former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (pictured); one of the founders of Russian conceptualism Lev Rubinstein; and Aurélia Lassaque, a French poet keenly interested in the relationship between poetry and music. A truly international event – with poets drawn from Syria, Finland, Nigeria, Cuba and beyond – the five day festival will feature readings, master-classes, book launches, debates and more. Organiser, Andy Croft: “This year’s festival is going to be a celebration of Teesside’s international character; an international festival for a town with a long international history.”

T-Junction International Poetry Festival, Wednesday 25-Sunday 29 April, venues across Middlesbrough. More info: tjunctionfestival.co.uk