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Stage Editorial

binker18.jpg Poems! Absolutely loads of them!

The theme for this year’s Newcastle Poetry Festival is ‘Crossings’, which explores notions of borders, art, travel and music. It runs at various venues on Tyneside from 2-5 May.

The fourth annual Newcastle Poetry Festival is their most ambitious to date and will encompass music and poetry collaborations, readings, workshops, panels, lectures, films, exhibitions and more.

It’s a truly packed programme but amongst the highlights is sure to be this year’s Northern Poetry Symposium, which will feature a day of lively debates, workshops and readings exploring poetry in translation with leading poets, publishers and translators. In the current age of political turbulence, poetry in translation is more relevant than ever and this day long event will feature exiled voices exploring innovative new translation processes as poetry in translation is firmly put back on the map.

Two series of newly commissioned poems for the festival reflect the theme of ‘Crossings’, and eight poets have responded to artworks in a major retrospective of Irish-born painter and Newcastle graduate, Sean Scully, co-hosted by the Hatton and Laing Galleries.

There will also be a screening of a special poetry film, Waves and Bones, that features poetry inspired by recent ground-breaking archaeological discoveries along the Northumbrian coast.

As mentioned above music will play a role in this year’s festival and this will include the long awaited UK premiere of the Latino Grammy-nominated performance of Jugar con Guego, a collaborative album by poet Fernando Valverde and singer Juan Pinilla; and New York-based Tyehimba Jess and London-based duo Binker & Moses (pictured) will also be joining forces for an exciting transatlantic collaboration in poetry and jazz.

Sasha Dugdale will give this year’s Royal Literary Fund Lecture (entitled ‘Pushkin Is Our All!’) and she will also be appearing alongside Imtiaz Dharker and Karen McCarthy Woolf.

Other poets making appearances this year include the likes of Sean O’Brien, Patricia Smith, Jorie Graham, Sinéad Morrissey and Emily Critchley, but we’re merely giving you a flavour of this year’s event so be sure to check out their website for the full programme.

Newcastle Poetry Festival, Wednesday 2-Saturday 5 May, various venues. newcastlepoetryfestival.co.uk