Secret Poetry, 29-30 April

All events are FREE and everyone is welcome.

Venue: Northumbria University, Newcastle. It’s walkable from the rail station (about 20 minutes) or the closest metro stop is Haymarket.

Events on both Friday and Saturday happens in Lipman Building Room 121 and/or very nearby. You can get in via Lipman itself, or via the Squires Building entrance on Sandyford Road (take the lift or the stairs to the first floor, turn left, and walk for ages). We’ll strew signs everywhere.

FRIDAY April 29th: readings & discussion

17.00: Room 121: Allen Fisher & Robert Hampson: “Practice-based Research and the Idea”
19.30: Room 121, Lipman Building: RIVET+ feat. poetry from Lisa Samuels, Peter Manson, Mendoza, Mark Wardlaw, Emilia Weber, Ann Matthews, Nisha Ramayya & nick-e melville

SATURDAY 30th: symposium

Coffee – 10.00 

Ed Luker, Katherine Peddie, David Grundy
Mod. Jo Walton

Jordan Savage & Vicky Sparrow
Mod. Sam Walton

Lunch – 1.30pm

Dorothy Butchard, Tom Betteridge, Nisha Ramayya
Mod. Vicky Sparrow

Lisa Samuels
Closing conversation, mod. Ian Davidson


We’ll be going to a restaurant afterward, so let us know if you want to join.

If you’ve got small press poetry books you’d like to bring along, please do! — if we get enough we’ll have a table of them.

Secret Poetry, 29-30 April

29-30 April 2016: Secret Poetry

An evening of readings & discussions

Sean Bonney
Allen Fisher
Robert Hampson
Lisa Samuels

A day-long symposium on poetry & secrecy

Tom Betteridge
Sean Bonney
Dorothy Butchard
James Byrne
Gareth Farmer
Lisa Samuels
Jordan Savage
Vicki Sparrow
Katharine Peddie

… or IS it?!

Yes, it is.

Events will be held in the new Institute for the Humanities at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

All welcome, and attendance both days is free but please let us know if you’re coming by emailing ( / or by using the Facebook event.

Detailed programme imminent.

29-30 April 2016: Secret Poetry


The next symposium is taking place on 30 April 2016. The theme is SECRET POETRY. There will also be a poetry reading the night before.

Attendance is free, but let us know if you’re planning on coming ( / so we know what numbers to expect.

Details of speakers coming soon!



(Please note that events are spread over two different venues)

Thursday 16 April

17:00-18:15: Meeting / rehearsal for those involved in Poem Factory
Squires Cinema room, Squires Building, Northumbria University

18:45-19:45: welcome & special panel on performance
The Northern Charter, 5th Floor Commercial Union House 39 Pilgrim Street
Four ten-minute presentations
Nicola Singh: “Where and when is whose voice uttering whose thought through whose mouth and what for?”
Tim Turnbull: “Poetry in the Theatre: The Irresistible Rise of the Solo Show”
Lisa Matthews: “The quiet-space: can page-poets perform?”
Nathan Walker: “Writing Actions: Durational Writing in Performance”
+ discussion

20:00-23:00: SHIFT, a night of performance & poetry
The Northern Charter, 5th Floor Commercial Union House 39 Pilgrim Street
Matthew Cunningham, Lucy Benyon & Lisa Jeschke, Tom Pickard, Rhys Trimble, Catherine Graham, nick-e melville & Camilla Nelson. (Event on Facebook).

Friday 17 April

All Friday panels will take place in the Squires Cinema room, Squires Building, Northumbria University. Papers will be no more than fifteen minutes long. A film by Tom Pickard will also be screened in room CPD2 throughout the day.

09:30-10:00: Registration

10:00-11:20: Introduction & panel one
Introduction by Ed and Jo.
Ed Luker: “’Truly free labouring’, in Rob Halpern’s Music For Porn
Holly Pester: “‘Hooked on Poetry’ – Cathy Wagner’s Nervous Device and the Posture of Performance”
nick-e melville: “The Corpus of Kenneth Goldsmith”
+ discussion


11:50-13:00: Panel two
Lila Matsumoto: “Ulises Carrion and ‘Other Books & So’: Towards a new economy of poetry”
Christopher Earley: “The Poet and the Engineer – Writing Infrastructure and Matter”
Joe Luna: “Poetry & the Work of Sabotage”
+ discussion

Lunch (provided)

14:00-15:00: Panel three

Nat Raha “Queer Labour in Boston, the work of gay liberation, Fag Rag and John Wieners.”

Nell Perry: “Loss, beyond the Freudian Economy”
Juha Virtanen: “Capital Corrugated Line”
+ discussion


15:30-17:00: Panel four and closing remarks by Ian Davidson
Ben Hickman: Figures of Inward: Language and “Labour”
Danny Hayward: “The Methodology of Spirit”
Lisa Jeschke: “‘the striking clatter of real work in the material world’ – Poetry and Work in J.H. Prynne’s Late Lectures and Commentaries”
+ discussion


17:15-18:30: Closing Ceremonies
Samantha Walton & Jennifer Cooke: “We’ll Invoice You”
Poetry readings
Performance of the Poetry Factory


Dramatis personæ

Confirmed attendees include Pester, Luker, melville, Allen, Matsumoto, Earley, Singh, Raha, Hickman, Luna, Matthews, Jeschke, Chalmers, Walker, Turnbull, Perry, Virtanen, Hayward, Walton, Cooke, Benyon, Trimble, Graham, Pickard, Mendoza & Nelson.

Thursday 16 April (17:00 onward):

Poetry Factory meeting / rehearsal with Mendoza & Camilla Nelson.


Special panel on performance.


Poetry & performance.

Friday 17 April (09:00 onward):

Papers, performances, interventions & miscellaneous

Full programme coming soon!

Dramatis personæ


On Friday 17 April 2015 [and Thursday 16 April!], Northumbria University will hold its fourth annual poetry symposium. This year’s event explores work in all its forms, especially in relation to performance and poetry. Submissions are now closed. The symposium’s focus will be on contemporary poetry and performance, but we are also open to contributions relating to earlier periods. Topics could include:

  • Working on a poem vs. the work of a poem
  • The poetry/performance workshop
  • Overworking
  • Art and class: working class writing, the non-poetic work of poets, employment and unemployment
  • The work of the avant-garde: negation, recuperation, institutionalisation
  • The work of style, sprezzatura, queer labour
  • Work, migration, transnational labour
  • Contract and consent
  • Iterations and rhythms: workflow, shift-work, casualisation, precarity, churn
  • Post-Fordism and the periodisation of the economic
  • Performance studies perspectives on the gamification of work
  • Writing the systemic: global political economy, market performance, finance capital
  • Capital, patriarchy, recuperation: differential labour of rendering experience legible
  • Intertheoretical approaches to labour: queer, feminist, Marxist, anthropological/sociological, other
  • Vibrant matter and non-human work: materiality, thingliness
  • Performance, bodily mimesis, ability and disability
  • The creation and destruction of the body
  • The work of pregnancy and childbearing
  • The autonomy of artworks / artworks as social fact
  • The relation between paid work and art practice
  • Sexual division of labour, other divisions of labour
  • Dreamwork, dreaming about work, dreaming against work
  • The work of the body, sex work, medical research, art work
  • Productivity, nonproductivity, reproductivity
  • Pressing work: the work of small press production and circulation
  • Political performance and agency
  • Resistance: the role of poetry & performance in grassroots politics, activism, unionism
  • Work and freedom: slavery, debt, the prison-industrial complex
  • Utopia/pragmatism/dystopia: work and its alternatives

The full programme will be available on this site closer to the time. Attendance to both the symposium and the evening event will be free, although places will be limited, so get in touch – – if you’d like to reserve a place. Symposium participants will be expected to fund their travel and accommodation through their own institutions, but there may be a small amount of financial assistance available for participants who are not academically affiliated.