Rich Seams

Award-winning poet Andrew McMillan takes a deeper look at the poetry of the North, as part of Rich Seams, a brand new podcast series celebrating the best of new and emerging poetry in the North of England.

Episode 1: Beginnings

Our launch episode, in which we tear open the seams of poetry in the North to examine its legacy, its present condition and where it might be heading in the future. Andrew McMillan talks to Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North about the ideas behind Rich Seams and takes the measure of northern poetry with Professor Stephen Regan from Durham University and Alice Mullen from the Poetry Book Society. Recorded at the Old Cinema Launderette, Durham City as part of Durham Book Festival in October 2018.

Episode 2: Live!

In a special, live edition of Rich Seams, Andrew begins his journey to dig down into the place of poetry in the North; he’s joined by North East based poets Jake Campbell, John Challis and Degna Stone to think about who’s voices poetry allows us to hear, who we still need to hear more from and whether there is a particularly northern idea of poetry. Recorded live at Durham Book Festival on Saturday 13th October at Durham Town Hall.

Episode 3: Inheritance and Wilderness

Andrew continues his journey into the Rich Seams of Northern Poetry at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere with Cumbrian poets Emma McGorden, Kim Moore and Eileen Pun. Thinking about nature, nurture and the North as a backdrop for bigger experiences, Andrew searches for more answers in his quest, and hears new work from three of our most exciting contemporary poets. Recorded on Monday 15th October at in the library of the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Cumbria.

Episode 4: Myths and Language

Andrew joins poets Steve Ely, Amy McCauley and Clare Shaw to think about how places might become mythologised, how we might have to look backwards to find a language and understanding of our present condition and how even recent history can enter the fabric of the legends will tell each other. Recorded on 23rd October in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Episode 5: New Norths

Andrew’s journey into the Rich Seams of Northern poetry continues in Manchester, where he meets Hafsah Aneela Bashir and Ian Humphreys to consider how we’re breaking apart a monolithic view of the North and asking whether a convergence of different influences and and experiences is building a new sense of what we think of as the north and its poetry. Recorded on the 5 November in the UNESCO City Literature, Manchester.

Episode 6: Who's Own Country?

Andrew’s journey brings him to Yorkshire with Rachael Allen, Kit Fan and Zaffar Kunial to consider what it takes to feel at home somewhere and whether the idea of a poetry of the north is really a signpost to a continuous journey rather than a final destination. Recorded on 12 November 2018 in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Episode 7: Return to New Writing North

Andrew’s journey comes to an end, and he wheels his travel suitcase back to the New Writing North offices to chat to Claire Malcolm, and offer up a new poem about what he’s found. Recorded May 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne.


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