Carcanet New Poetries VIII online launches

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Holly Hopkins. Photo by Alex Lichtenfels

18 February — 18 March 2021 Tickets from £2 — Book now

Carcanet’s New Poetries VIII anthology showcases the work of some of the most exciting new poets writing in English. Five launch events, with readings and discussion, will run each Thursday evening between 18 February and 18 March.

From the first New Poetries anthology through to this eighth volume, the series has offered a go-to resource to read some of the most engaging and inventive voices from around the world.

This latest tome in the series, which has been running since 1994, is edited by Manchester-based Carcanet Press director Michael Schmidt and associate publisher John McAuliffe, also Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester. From the first New Poetries anthology through to this eighth volume, the series has offered a go-to resource to read some of the most engaging and inventive voices from around the world. Many past contributors have gone on to achieve notable success, including Tara Bergin, Caroline Bird, Vahni Capildeo, Sophie Hannah, Kei Miller and Sinéad Morrissey.

With contributions from the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Afghanistan, the States and more, and ranging in age from 20 to 80 years old, New Poetries VIII also introduces some important new work from BAME and LGBTQ communities, and this series of five launch events gives you the chance to hear from 22 of the 24 poets. A fair heft of a book, nosing towards 400 pages in total, each of the 24 is allocated a tidy amount of paper on which to show their wares. Wedged between an introduction from each, outlining the work presented, and a bio showing their career progression, there is an almost pamphlet-sized selection of their recent pieces, from which we will experience an essence at these launch events.

During the readings, the text will be shown on screen so that you can read along, and after the readings there will be discussion of the poetry and the opportunity for audience members to ask their own questions. Registration for each of the online events is £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book (all attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event), and each event is bookable individually. Please note that there are limited places for the readings, so do book early to avoid disappointment.

The first launch event, on Thursday 18 February, featured readings by Chad Campbell, Parwana Fayyaz, Jenny King, Joseph Minden and Jennifer Edgecombe, who we saw perform at the PN Review Summer Launch at Castlefield Gallery in 2019 and whose debut poetry pamphlet The Grief of the Sea came out with Broken Sleep Books last June.

On that same Castlefield bill was Joe Carrick-Varty, reading on 25 February in a kind of Irish evening, with Ireland born or based poets all featured, including Conor Cleary, Victoria Kennefick, Padraig Reagan and Colm Tóibín, three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and a former Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, a title also held by Martin Amis and, currently, Jeanette Winterson.

For the 4 March event, Jason Allen-Paisant, Charlotte Eichler and Suzannah V Evans (whose boatyard poems are a must-read and are published in her second pamphlet, Brightwork, coming out with Guillemot Press later this year) join Rebecca Hurst, who recently gained a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester and was artist-in-residence at the glorious John Rylands Library on Deansgate from autumn 2019 to spring 2020.

On 11 March, it’s the turn of Manchester-based Holly Hopkins, who is manager of the Forward Prizes, Tristram Fane Saunders, Isobel Williams and another Centre for New Writing graduate, Christine Roseeta Walker, who has an MA in Creative Writing and has recently completed her debut novel, The Grass Is Weeping.

The final of the five launches takes place on Thursday 18 March and includes readings from Benjamin Nehammer, Stav Poleg, who we also saw at that PN Review launch in summer 2019, Nell Prince and Maryam Hessavi, another alumna of the University of Manchester, with an MA in English Literature & Creative Writing with specialisms in Modernism and Linguistics. Maryam is Reviews Editor for The Poetry School, Contributing Editor of Ambit and a committee member for the Manchester-based poetry reading series Poets & Players, which we’re looking forward to having back on our calendars soon.

18 February — 18 March 2021 Tickets from £2 Book now

Where to go near Carcanet New Poetries VIII online launches

caprismcr - restaurant
City Centre
Capri’s Cucina Italiana

The King Street area isn’t short of popular Italian restaurants, but none strike quite the same note as Capri’s, where you’ll be greeted like family and served some of the most authentic Neapolitan food in Manchester.

The Feel Good Club exterior
Event venue
Feel Good Club

Our flagship Feel Good Club in Manchester, open 7 days a week, providing a beautiful friendly environment for coffee, brunch, lunch, cocktails and beers with an amazing selection of non alcoholic beverages too.

Bar or Pub
Finders Keepers

Welcoming waterside bar in New Islington Marina, serving a wide array of carefully-curated cocktails.

City Centre

Highly-regarded wine-led, French-leaning wine bar and rooftop restaurant in the city centre.

Image licensed with iStock.
Stockport Central Library

Stockport Central Library is a Carnegie library, built 1913–15 in the Edwardian Baroque style. It continues to serve as Stockport’s largest library.

The Edge exterior
Event venue
The Edge, Wigan

Opened in September 2017, The Edge Arena is Wigan’s performance, conference and event venue.


Hummingbird is one of Liverpool’s most stylish and timeless cocktail bars.

City Centre

Elegant cocktail bar in the centre of Manchester, with a relaxed atmosphere and wonderfully friendly staff.

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Weird Women at Levenshulme Old Library

To mark International Women’s Day, Levenshulme Old Library has pulled together a programme of activities called Weird Women, which includes Unheim-Lit, a showcase of strange and uncanny spoken word.

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