Inside Writing

Reading and Responding

The Institute of English Studies is delighted to announce the launch of INSIDE WRITING, a new digital poetry festival in lieu of the annual Newcastle Poetry Festival which is cancelled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. The IES is partnering with the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) to support this new online programme.


Throughout May, June and July, NCLA will host a series of digital poetry events over Twitter and Facebook featuring some of today’s most exciting poets responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Poets will perform new work, issue challenges and writing prompts, and discuss how their writing lives have been affected. Inside Writing asks writers, readers and enthusiasts what effect living under lockdown has had on their writing, and what kinds of literature will emerge as a result?

Alongside these performances and prompts, the IES are commissioning writers and academics to respond to the work of Inside Writing poets with creative micro-essays under the banner of ‘Reading and Responding’, as part of our Literature in Lockdown series. In these posts we will consider how lockdown affects the ways that we read and respond to poems.

Poets and readers meet on the page when they cannot in person, and book historians remind us how material is that meeting.

Clare Lees, Director of IES