In 2022, Herstory festival explored the unfinished fight for women’s rights in the UK through electrifying live performance, intimate installations and enlivening discussions. Newcastle poets, activists, librarians, curators and communities came together to develop new work, and highlighted the need for continued action around women's health and safety. 

This led us to develop and pilot The Exchange in Newcastle, a new way of working that enables communities to use collective voice together with poets to develop creative work and campaign for change.

We developed a Poetic Manifesto with Dr Karen Simicek of Warwick University to ensure that, when we work to produce poetry in communities, we are considering the nuances and challenges that come with collective voice, which began with commissioning three female poets: Tahmina Ali, Ellen Moran and Rue Collinge, to explore issues faced by women in Newcastle. Through creative workshops and live research with women and girls groups, the poets developed new works.