North x North East Poetry Project - August to September 2018

A project exploring and celebrating the resurgent northeast poetry scene through the power of collaboration. Curated by Harry Man and SJ Fowler

The North x North East poetry project will feature over sixty poets collaborating in pairs over multiple events through 2018 and 2019, producing brand new collaborative works for performance.  Emphasising innovation and community through collaboration, the NXNE project is a celebration of the dynamic resurgence in literary and avant-garde poetry which has so marked the north and northeast poetry scene over the last few years, after a grand history 20th century. Supported by The Poetry Book Society, Inpress, Staithes Gallery, Waterstones York, Middlesbrough council.

Blog post by Harry Man, August 2018, on the first iteration of the NXNE project.

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It’s not every day you find yourself driving a spaceship along the A19, but this is how many of my August mornings have been. I’ve been on the road with a little children’s show in which we build a spaceship and blast it into space, with some fun listening to poems, spelling words and of course rescuing an imperilled man in distress on a faraway planet. In the evenings however, once I’ve driven the spaceship home, I got to co-curate the North East Enemies Project with SJ Fowler another force of extraordinary energy, creativity and passion in the world of poetry. Things don’t always work out the way we want them to, and despite getting the assistance of several universities and arts organisations that generously and with barely a word, gave up their time to help us out and support local poets, we weren’t quite able to get the grant we wanted for a full North East Tour. It was ambitious – five venues in five days, with an extraordinary line-up of faces new and old working in collaboration. Unfortunately, news of the bid came back and we didn’t get it. Disappointing on the one hand, but moreover exciting that so much is happening in the North East that we were one of so many projects – New Writing North, NAWE, Bloodaxe and Poetry Business being real powerhouses in the region. While pushing the snooze button on the grant, to reapply again in September, I contacted poets to tell them our bid had not been successful. Wonderfully, the Poetry Book Society and Waterstone’s and many of the poets said that they would like to do a couple of events anyway. My huge thanks to Kirstie Logan, the events manager at Waterstone’s York who sold every ticket in the house and to Alice Mullen at the Poetry Book Society, Rachael Holgate and Ree Collins at Missing Piece, as well as to our many poets; Kirsten Irving and JT Welsch, Marilyn Longstaff, Sanya Ali and pa morbid, Chris Stewart, David Spittle, Dominic Nelson JP Ashley and Phoebe Power, Ian Harker, Judi Sutherland and Natalie Scott who so generously gave up their time and space to support the project. 

York - August Thursday 2nd 2018 at Waterstones

Waterstone's, 15 Coney Street, York, Y01 9QL - Curated by Harry Man. The event featured Kimberly Campanello and Caleb Klaces, Harry Man and David Spittle, Phoebe Power and Dominic JP Nelson Ashley, pa morbid and Sanya Ali, JT Welsch and Kirsten Irving.

Stockton - August Saturday 4th 2018 at Missing Piece Arts

Wynyard Woodland Park, Station House, Stockton-on-Tees. TS21 3JG events/499295213864525/
Curated by Harry Man. The event featured Michael Brown, Natalie Scott, Judi Sutherland, Kirsten Irving & JT Welsch, Harry Man & David Spittle, Marilyn Longstaff and .Chris Stewart

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