A Year In Review 

It has been a big year! Programming festivals across the country, getting back into the swing of live events post-Covid and seeing our Producers Programme taken to new cities - and to new heights. These are just some of the things we are incredibly proud to have achieved during a challenging post-Covid year, and we are excited to keep the momentum going into 2023.

The year began with us gearing up for the culmination of Collections in Verse, our mulit-year libraries programme. Enlivening central libraries in Exeter and Newcastle; at the end of March, Herstory was made. Collaborating with 17 poets, 46 artists and academics, and 400 local women, together, we took over Newcastle and Exeter City Libraries for two days of feminist discussion, performance and communion. From Ellen Moran's Protest Library capturing her work with communities in the East End of Newcastle, to Shagufta K. Iqbal bringing to life the environment of the 1910 Chainmaker’s strike in the centre of Exeter library with her poem Chains, Herstory Festival hosted an eclectic expression of local voices that we couldn't have loved more. The brilliant, collaborative work of Herstory has been immortalised in its own digital archive. Launched in Libraries Week 2022, you can now revisit the project that kicked off the year in all it's glory here. 

While working in Exeter and Newcastle for Herstory Festivals, we brought our Producers Programme outside of London for the first time. Our wonderful Exeter cohort completed the programme by staging Build Your Warrior, a night of empowerment and learning, exploring how to care for ourselves whilst fighting for our rights. On the other side of the country, the Newcastle Producers Programme culminated in Diverse Femininity, an event in collaboration with Born Lippy that saw our Producers curate a brilliant line up of poets, musicians and comedians from the Newcastle community. We are so proud of the work our first batch of national producers created and are excited to keep working with these communities. 

Throughout the year we have programmed a showcase of inspiring events. From a playful night of nonsense featuring Michael Rosen reading his favourite Lear poems, to an astounding reading from the T.S. Eliot prize-winning C+nto: & Other Poems by Joelle Taylor at Sappho: Words More Naked Than Flesh, there has been many a standout moment in 2022. The enigmatic performances and discussion from Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Belinda Zhawi and Lynnée Denise at Black Noise: Experiments in Quiet, the joyous wit of John Hegley and his band, and Niamh Cusack's haunting performance of The Waste Land all contributed to making many of our evening's this year all the more richer. Stay tuned to hear news of our 2023 programme, coming very soon.

Poet in the City were honoured to receive some industry awards attention throughout the year. Our 2021 project, a Drop of Hope was selected as a case study by the World Health Organisation for “innovative concepts to communicate science during the COVID-19 crisis”. The project also won a 'Wood Pencil' prize at the D&AD awards – a gathering of the world's best creative work from across the commercial design, advertising, production and craft disciplines.

Peppering 2022 with cinematic poetry readings was our collaboration with the Adrian Brinkerhoff Foundation. Directed by Matthew Thompson and produced by Poet in the City, we have had the pleasure of releasing these gorgeous poetry films throughout the year. Head over to Watch, Listen, Read to see extraordinary readings from the likes of Roger Robinson, Anthony Vahni Capildeo and Degna Stone, to name a few.

We end 2022 looking ahead to next year, excited to reconnect with our supporters and collaborators as we gear up for some excited announcements in January. From our team at Poet in the City, we wish you a happy Christmas and New Year!