Poetry Symposium

The next Carlisle Poetry Symposium will be held on Saturday 16th November at Tullie House, Carlisle. Readings will begin at 11.00. There will be at least six ‘Featured Poets’ who will read during the day, and there are more than 20 open mic spaces that can be claimed on the day, too. There will also be a pop-up bookshop that will sell the work of anyone who wishes it. Last time the pop-up bookshop made £400 and that money went directly back to the poets.

There is no charge for the event at all. The idea is that people coming to the Symposium will want to buy poetry from the pop-up bookshop!

Venue Address

The Phil & Lit, Fisher Street Galleries, 18 Fisher Street, Carlisle, CA3 8RH.

If you’re coming by car, there’s a car park right next to the Fisher Galleries and it is called ‘Fisher Street Car Park’ and the postcode of that car park is CA3 8RE (the website with tariffs on it is here)- it should have spaces (plenty of them, on a Saturday) but you do have to pay to park there. There are lots of places in The Lanes car park, or at The Sands Centre, too – but they are further away.

If you’re coming by bus, there’s a stop outside the Carlisle Market Hall; if you follow the Market Hall building round the corner and up the street you’ll find Fisher Street and the Fisher Galleries are on that street. The Phil & Lit is on the first floor of the Fisher Galleries.

Featured Poets

Our May 2019 Symposium Featured poets include Meg Pokrass, Neil Curry, Kathleen Jones, Erica Bell, Annie Foster and Nicola Jackson.. Other exciting news is that two of our Featured Poets will have new pamphlets that they will be sharing for the first time at the event – one from Caldew Press (watch this space for an interview with the new editor of Caldew Press).

We’ve prided ourselves on putting together strong line-ups of talent from our region – and wider. The featured poets for the May 2018 Symposium were: Josephine Dickinson (click here) , Jennifer Copley (click here), Annie Foster (click here), Mike Smith (click here), Vivien Jones (click here), Alan John Stubbs (click here) and Nick Pemberton (click here). We’re were really honoured to have such a list at our first Symposium. Our second Symposium in November 2018 featured Judi Sutherland, Malcolm Carson, Autumn Richardson, Richard Skelton and Kim Moore. So, we have a high calibre list to maintain.

Thanks, too, to the poets who we contacted who couldn’t make it this time, but who were keen to be involved next time. There will be announcements to make about the November 2019 line-up, soon! Each poet has a biography placed upon the blog and a couple of links for people to get a flavour of their work prior to the event.

Featured poets have been asked to put together a twenty minute ‘set’. After this there will be a short Q&A section with that poet.

Open mic Sections

Anyone and everyone is welcome to read. If you would like to read in the one of the open mic sections, then you can sign up at one of the ‘sign-up’ points during the day. Each open mic reader should read for no more than four minutes, so that we can fit in as much poetry as we can!

Pop-up Bookshop

Anyone can put their books and pamphlets up for sale on the pop-up bookshop. Please drop off your books before 11 o’ clock on the Saturday morning at the Phil & Lit . All books should include a slip of paper inside that clearly states a price for that pamphlet or book in whole pounds, the full title of the publication and the name of the author/payee. The funds will all be centrally held by the pop-up bookshop staff. At the end of the Symposium, the cash will be sorted and all the total proceeds of each pamphlet or book will go to the poet concerned. Please be at the Phil & Lit at the end of the event to pick up your books and cash! The bookshop is staffed by volunteers, who are doing this for the love of culture and literature.