Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Events Items

How Small Presses Shape the Poetry World (Part 1) with Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books), Moniza Alvi and John Challis

Date/Time: Wednesday 16th March 2022, 6.15pm to 7.15pm

Venue: G.05, Percy Building, Newcastle University

In 2021, poet and researcher John Challis, conducted a series of filmed interviews with Bloodaxe founder and editor Neil Astley, to document Bloodaxe’s extraordinary contribution to diversifying and shaping contemporary British poetry publishing over the last four decades. To celebrate the launch of these interviews, Neil Astley will appear in-conversation with John Challis and long-time Bloodaxe poet Moniza Alvi, to talk about the history and working practices of Bloodaxe Books, and how small presses continue to shape the poetry world.  

The event will also feature a reading by Moniza Alvi, whose sixth collection, Fairoz, a book-length poetry sequence exploring an imagined teenage girl’s susceptibility to extremism, will be published by Bloodaxe in March 2022.

The ‘Bloodaxe Books: In-Person’ project was generously supported by a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant in 2019.   

Neil Astley founded Bloodaxe Books in 1978 after graduating from Newcastle University. He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry in 1982, and was given an honorary D.Litt by Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe in 1995. He has published two poetry collections, two novels, and edited over twenty anthologies, notably the Staying Alive series. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. All her poetry is published by Bloodaxe. Her most recent titles are Fairoz (due 2022), Blackbird, Bye Bye (2018) and At the Time of Partition (2013). Her work has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes, and she is the recipient of a Cholmondeley Award.

John Challis is a poet and Research Associate at Newcastle University. His debut collection of poems is The Resurrectionists (Bloodaxe, 2021).

Free event and all very welcome.

Moniza Alvi