Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

About Us


Welcome to the NCLA, a world-class centre of excellence in the field of creative writing which contributes to the cultural life of the North East via readings, projects, teaching and research.

Each semester, our events series showcases the best contemporary writing in all genres, from prose fiction to scriptwriting, while our annual Newcastle Poetry Festival, now in its fourth year, offers a packed programme of readings, workshops, interdisciplinary performances and panel discussions by pre-eminent poets from around the world. 

We are engaged in a variety of dynamic projects which connect creative writing directly with the wider community, such as the recent Poetry of Policing project, and have developed an innovative Steps in Time app which reconfigures specific locations across Newcastle using bespoke poetry.

We also run three Creative Saturday day-long workshops each semester on different aspects of the craft of creative writing and two national poetry competitions: The Flambard Poetry Prize (currently open for entries) and the Basil Bunting Poetry Award.

Our research expertise is focused on Newcastle University’s significant – and growing – archival acquisitions in the field of contemporary poetry. These include the complete Bloodaxe archive, as well as the archive of three-times Forward Prize winner Sean O’Brien. Check out our new Contemporary Poetry Collections website for a comprehensive list of our current holdings.

Our associated staff include Jackie KaySean O’BrienJacob PollyTara BerginBill HerbertWilliam Fiennes and Carolyn Forché. We enjoy close affiliations with many significant national and international Arts organisations such as Bloodaxe, the Poetry Book Society, the Booker Prize Foundation and the Lannan Foundation in the US.

There’s lots of exciting events happening over the coming weeks: from the launch of a new anthology to honour Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his visit to Newcastle University, to readings by Chinese poet Yang Lian and Poetry Book Society Choice authors Pascale Petit and James Sheard. Sign up for our Booker Prize foundation evening with Graeme Macrae Burnet to hear more about his shortlisted novel, His Bloody Project, or get writing for the Flambard Poetry Prize.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Sinéad Morrissey
Director, NCLA



We work with a variety of respected creative writing partners.