Spreading the word about the Northern Poetry Library

library of poetry

A PROJECT aimed at promoting the Northern Poetry Library’s importance on the UK’s literary landscape, and getting more people involved, will be launched on National Poetry Day.

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The event will take place in Morpeth Library, where the Northern Poetry Library is based, on Thursday, October 8 from 7pm to 9pm.

Established in 1968 and managed by Active Northumberland, the Northern Poetry Library, is the largest collection of contemporary poetry outside of London and contains the work of all the major poets writing in English since the end of the Second World War.

The new project will put the rather special library in the spotlight, and through a range of activities get more people of all ages to visit and take part.

Val Tyler, Northumberland County Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, said: “This is a really exciting project. We have such a fantastic resource right here in the North East and this gives us the chance to literally ‘spread the word’ and get people as enthused as we are.

“The project includes setting up poets in residence across the region to work with the communities, commissions, events and a new digital platform.

“The launch will include readings from our poets as well as the launch of the new website. It will be a great way to celebrate the beginning of this fantastic project.”

Lisa Matthews, lead poet for the project, has been based at the Northern Poetry Library researching the collection. She will work alongside fellow poets John Challis, Linda France, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Jo Colley and Degna Stone, who are based at Blyth, Hexham, Alnwick, Ashington and Berwick libraries.

The poets will create their own work inspired by the poetry collection, including digital responses for the new platform, and develop a programme so that community groups can write their own poetry and produce text-based artwork.

Lisa, a poet and writer, from Whitley Bay, will also work with performance company November Club to develop a series of ‘spotlight’ commissions, inspired by key poems or themes.

Later in the project there will also be an exhibition at Woodhorn Museum, and Palace Green Library focusing on the topics of Collections, History and Contemporary Poetry.

Admission to the launch is free but contact the library, Gas House Lane, to reserve a ticket on 01670 620390 or email: morpethlibrary@activenorthumberland.org.uk

*The new website is being built in two stages and phase one will be live for National Poetry Day on October 8. Why not follow the project’s progress on Twitter @nplpoetry?

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