Young Poets Network teams up with Bloodaxe Archive

Photo: Phyllis Christopher

In partnership with Newcastle University, The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network has launched the first two of four writing challenges for young poets aged up to 25 from across the world. This series of challenges uses the digital Bloodaxe Archive as a springboard for young people to write their own poems. These in-depth prompts will be released across Winter 2019/20 on Young Poets Network. Winners will be published on the platform, receive Bloodaxe books and other poetry goodies as prizes, and will be invited to perform at the Newcastle Poetry Festival 2020.

The Bloodaxe Archive was acquired by Newcastle University in 2013. The archive contain:

  • book manuscripts – thousands of poems-in-progress, many scribbled on by the poet or editor
  • correspondence, including letters, postcards and notes
  • publicity and marketing
  • doodles and illustrations
  • poets’ notebooks and doodles

The Poetics of the Archive: Bloodaxe Archive challenge #1 asks young people to explore the archive’s many ways of organising the material and in respond in any way they like to what they find, whether this is a poem-in-process, an interesting juxtaposition or someone else’s response to the archive.

Sinéad Morrissey
Sinéad Morrissey

In White Space: Bloodaxe Archive challenge #2, poet Sinéad Morrissey explores what the function and meaning of white space is in poetry. Readers are challenged to write a single-stanza poem of no more than 20 lines that consciously plays with white space.

Classes and youth groups are encouraged to enter the challenges using entry forms that can be found at the bottom of each challenge page.

The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network is an open platform for young poets worldwide, up to the age of 25. There you’ll find free competitions, challenges, and advice from and interviews with established poets as well as emerging ones.

19 December 2019