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Centre for Poetry and Poetics

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics at Durham University promotes the reading, writing and editing of poetry from classical antiquity to the present, as well as the critical exploration of current issues and ideas in literary theory. It incorporates and builds upon the work of the Basil Bunting Poetry Centre, encouraging new research on the valuable Bunting Archive and other important archival collections in the Palace Green Library

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics supports a strong tradition of live poetry events in Durham, including a series of readings each year at Durham Book Festival, for which it appoints the Book Festival Laureate. The Book Festival Laureate for 2017 is Andrew McMillan. The Centre has a University-wide membership and a lively programme of readings, seminars and lectures.

Rich Seams: A New Generation of Poets from the North Curated and introduced by Andrew McMillan

14th October 2017, 15:30 to 17:00, Durham Town Hall

Durham Book Festival presents a special poetry gala event, curated by Andrew McMillan and featuring a range of diverse and exciting poets who are reshaping and re-writing our idea of The North of England.

Andrew explains, ‘I wanted to shine a light on poets who you should be reading and, more importantly, hearing. Perhaps the greatest thing about this place we’re calling The North is our accents, our voices, the way we shift and change our vowels and pronunciation in the space of five miles; poetry is best when heard in the voice of the person who wrote it, and that’s what we’re offering at this event.’

The northern poets who will be sharing their work at this event are: Degna Stone, Kim Moore, Malika Booker, Mark Pajak, Polly Atkin , Melissa Lee-Houghton, Pippa Little, Ruby Robinson, Zaffar Kunial, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Seán Hewitt.

This performance will be recorded live in partnership with crowd-funding publisher Unbound. To pledge to support the production of a special vinyl recording of this event please visit: and discover a range of rewards, including the chance to have a poem written especially for you and the chance to meet the poets backstage for a post-recording drink.

About the Festival Laureate 2017

Each year Durham Book Festival works in partnership with Durham University's Centre for Poetry and Poetics to invite an acclaimed poet to become the Festival Laureate. This year the Festival welcomes Andrew McMillan to the role. As well as presenting a newly commissioned poem at the festival, Andrew will also work with young people from secondary schools in Durham and take part in a special event for Durham University students.

Andrew McMillan’s debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh Award and a Northern Writers’ Award.

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