Each year Durham Book Festival works in partnership with Durham University to invite an acclaimed poet to become the Festival Laureate. As well as presenting a newly commissioned poem at the festival, the laureate takes part in a special event for Durham University students.
This year’s Festival Laureate is the award-winning poet and writer Hannah Lowe, whose latest collection The Kids, inspired by her career as a teacher, won the Costa Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2021.
Hannah Lowe is the author of three poetry collections. Her 2015 family memoir Long Time, No See, explored her relationship with her Jamaican-Chinese father and was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.
As part of her laureateship, Hannah has written the newly commissioned Northern Soul: Sonnets for the Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre, and will also take part in a special event for Durham University students. You can watch her perform the poems below.