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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Northern Poetry Map Hack

22nd February 2019, 11:00 to 16:00, Turner Room, Van Mildert

Come along and contribute to the development of an innovative and exciting new project to put North East poetry on the map.

The Northern Poetry Map aims to capture and digitally represent the rich poetic heritage of the North East, for use by public, learners, creatives and businesses. This is a project with enormous potential and value, but we need your help to refine the possibilities into a useable web and literary resource. Come along and contribute to our first ‘hack the map’ event. You will:

  • Contribute to the development of a digital resource for literature and the North East
  • Hunt for or suggest poems and poets relating to the region and 'pin' them to the map
  • Gain an understanding of how digital tools can be used to represent culture and heritage
  • Collaborate with a range of participants including poets, academics, students and public
  • Enjoy a free lunch and refreshments!

About the Northern Poetry Map

Poetry in the North East is varied and dynamic. We have more poetry publishers per head than anywhere outside of London; a rich performance scene; traditions and associations that span the canonical (such as Lord Byron’s associations with Seaham) to the popular (such as our folk songs), and from the historic (such as the Anglo-Saxon ‘Durham’) to the contemporary (such as the poetry emerging from mining culture). However, much of this activity is unseen or unknown.

The Northern Poetry Map aims to elevate these traditions by marking them on a map – a collaboratively produced geographic vision of the region as seen through its verse. As well as connecting poems to the places they represent, we’ll be capturing the lived experience and lyrical memories of people in the region as a means to inspire new poetic work.

Ultimately the map will become a digital resource to be used by others. We envisage businesses using poetry to celebrate their connection to the regional economy, creative writing workshops and schools drawing on the map, and tourists using a mobile phone to explore poetry trails.

Outline Programme

By contributing to this workshop you will help drive the map towards these goals.The rough programme will be:

  • 11.00-11.15 Registration and refreshments
  • 11.15-12.45 Introduction to the Northern Poetry Map and overview of thematic focus groups
  • 12.45-13.30 Lunch and 'pin the poem'
  • 13.30-15.00 Focus groups
  • 15.00-15.45 Plenary discussion
  • 15.45-16.00 Close

We ask that you attend the whole activity if possible, especially the afternoon focus groups.

More Information and Registration

The session is organised by Dr Alistair Brown, Digital Dissemination Officer in the Department of English Studies and Professor Stephen Regan, Director of the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, in conjunction with Lee McKenzie, Poet-in-Residence at Josephine Butler.

To sign up, please register via

Contact for more information about this event.


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