Land of Three Rivers Events

Land of Three Rivers Events


Neil Astley's anthology Land of Three Rivers: The Poetry of North-East England was published by Bloodaxe on Friday 10 November.  It was launched at Magnetic North East concert at Sage Gateshead 10 November.  This wonderful concert, reviewed on Write Out Loud here, included performances of poems and songs from the anthology by Jimmy Nail, Martin Longstaff of The Lake Poets and others including piper Kathryn Tickell, who set one poem to music. 

The anthology maps the region in poetry and song, with its title taken from Vin Garbutt's folk ballad in praise of the land of 'the Tyne, Wear and Tees', but extends its coverage to the Tweed to the north and the Pennines to the west. Poems are grouped together by place, starting at Hadrian’s Wall, and ending in Cleveland, with sections on the border region, Northumberland, Newcastle, Durham, Teesdale and Teesside along the way.  As well as poetry, it also includes some classic North-East songs both traditional and modern, from the oral tradition of balladeers such as ‘The Keel Row’ and ‘Bobby Shafto’, to lyrics from songs by Jimmy Nail, Mark Knopfler and Sting.   At the Sage Gateshead concert, Jimmy Nail read Sting's lyrics, and then sang his own 'Big River' which is also included in the anthology.



Books on Tyne, The Newcastle Book Festival, Sunday 26 November 2017, 2-3pm

Newcastle City Library, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AX

Land of Three Rivers is a celebration of North-East England past and present in poetry. Featuring its places and people, culture, history, language and stories in poems and songs, from Roman times through medieval Northumbria and the industrial era of mining and shipbuilding up to the present-day. 

The anthology's editor Neil Astley will be giving a talk about it at Books on Tyne o 26 November.

Click here for more information.


Click here to read Neil Astley's interview with the Hexham Courant in which he speaks about the background to the anthology.

Click here to read an interview with Northumbrian piper and Radio 3 broadcaster Kathryn Tickell, a Director of Magnetic North East, online at Folk Radio UK.

Kathryn spoke about Magnetic North East, which celebrates and promotes the distinctive cultural identity of the North East of England, and about the forthcoming anthology Land of Three Rivers from Bloodaxe, which is being launched at Magnetic North East’s event at Sage Gateshead on Friday 10 November.

“I am SO excited about that. Bloodaxe are the premiere poetry publishers in the UK, they are based in rural Northumberland but had never done an anthology of Northeast poetry. I’ve been badgering them and lobbying for it for years and it’s actually happening. It’s not just straight ‘poetry’ but includes a few songs, both traditional and modern – from Border Ballads to Jimmy Nail’s Big River as well as all the great NE poems…and loads more you’d never think of. Of course, it’s ended up being twice the size it was originally meant to be – there’s just so much good stuff out there. It’s going to be an incredible new resource – Bede, Bunting, Auden, Wilfrid Gibson, Tom Pickard, Katrina Porteous, Richard Dawson, Julia Darling, Philip Larkin’s poem about Bellingham Show…all sorts of goodies!” – Kathryn Tickell [on Land of Three Rivers]


[16 November 2017]

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