Events, Locations and Booking Information




   2 Corporation Rd,


   TS1 2RT



   Centre Square


   TS1 2AY



   Corporation Road,


   TS1 2RW


4. mima

   Centre Square


   TS1 2AZ



   Borough Rd


   TS1 3BA




   Royal Middlehaven House

   21 Gosford Street


   TS2 1BB

Click for Map of Central Middlesbrough


Wednesday 25 April


Michael Rosen: Migrant Poetry


Whether he is writing for children or for adults, Michael Rosen’s poetry always combines the silly, the sinister and the surreal to ask why the silly emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. A chance to hear Michael read from his most recent collections for grown-ups, Don’t Mention the Children and Listening to a Pogrom on the Radio in which he writes about the fate of his  family in Occupied France during the Second World War.


Michael Rosen is one of the UK’s best-loved writers for children. He has written and edited over 140 books, including No Breathing in Class, Mind Your Own Business, Wouldn’t You Like to Know, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, You Tell Me and Quick Let’s Get Out of Here. He was the Children’s Laureate from 2007-9 and is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmith’s, University of London.


7.00pm | Middlesbrough Central Library | Tickets: £7/£5



Thursday 26 April


The Electric Kool Aid Cabaret of the Spoken Word


Poets Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby take over Middlesbrough’s Theatre of Varieties

with an intense and international mix of poetry, performance, spoken word, live music and comedy, including guest performances from Kalle Niinikangas, Paul Summers, Aurélia Lassaque, Chris Stewart, Harry Man, Keabonye Bareeng, Eric Motswasele, Amarjit Chandan, Lev Rubenstein and Zoila Forss, plus interpretative dance from the amazing Jennifer Essex.


7.30pm | The Empire, Corporation Road |Tickets: £5/£3



Friday 27 April


The Dog Ate My Poem


Students from Teesside University, Outwood Academy, Trinity College and Macmillan College showcase some of their own work. A reminder that poetry is more than just a subject to be studied for exams.


4pm | T1.07, The Curve Teesside University | FREE



Crossing Borders, Turning Pages


Is it possible to write about someone else’s culture without sounding like a tourist? How do you understand what you can’t translate? How do you translate what you don’t understand?

Paul Summers, Zoila Forss, Abdulkareem Kasid and Kalle Niinikangas discuss the limits and the possibilities of travel poetry.


5pm | T1.07, The Curve, Teesside University | Tickets: Pay What You Want



Si les Symptômes Persistent – Consultez un Poète!


Three distinguished and internationally famous poets – Chawki Abdelamir, Francis Combes and Lev Rubenstein – demonstrate how poetry can sometimes do more than just describe the symptoms of our present condition.

Powerful and radical poetry from Baghdad, Paris and Moscow.


6pm | Main lecture hall, The Curve, Teesside University | Tickets: £5/£3





Teesside’s long-running Folk venue opens its doors to a night of women’s poetry from Iceland, Turkey, Poland, France, Botswana and Peru, with poetry from Gerður Kristný, Bejan Matur, Justyna Bargielska, Aurélia Lassaque, Keabonye Bareeng and Zoila Forss. Plus open-mic and music from Peg Powler and George Boomsma. Hosted by Sara Dennis & Ian Bartholomew.


7.30 | TP Coffee House, 21 Gosford Street | Tickets: £5/£3



Saturday 28 April


Poetry Master-classes


A chance to spend a morning working with some of our distinguished poets – Amarjit Chandan, Paul Summers, Aurélia Lassaque and Abdulkareem Kasid. Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


10am | mima | Tickets: £5/£3



The Ship Owner’s House


Darlington’s Vane Women collective launch Judi Sutherland’s first collection The Ship Owner’s House, a book which echoes the cry of the refugee, the exile, the stranger living in a house built on sands of displacement.


12.30pm | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want



Nigeria to North Yorkshire


Teesside publishers Mudfog Books invite you to join them for the launch of two new books from the North-east. Peter Adegbie’s Words are Water Springs recalls the Lagos of his youth, while Jo Heather looks at the natural world, sorrow, beauty and loss in Harvesting the Weather.


2pm | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want



Within a Still Eye/En Senmova Centro


A reading by Middlesbrough poet Margaret Williams from Within a Still Eye, translated into Esperanto by Jack Warren, editor of the Yorkshire Esperantists’ magazine. Poetry in two very different languages exploring the natural world through the changing seasons of the year and the changing seasons of our lives.


3pm | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want



The Arab Winter


Eight years after the ‘Arab Spring’, much of the Middle East is disfigured by authoritarian governments, civil wars, fundamentalism, sectarian violence, proxy wars and the most serious refugee crisis since 1945. Chawki Abdelamir, Abdulkareem Kasid and Bejan Matur discuss current developments in the Arab world and talk about some of the ways in which poets are responding to disappointed hopes of change.


4.30pm | Central Library | Tickets: Pay What You Want



From Eight till Late


Eight T-junction poets – Lev Rubenstein, Justyna Bargielska, Abdulkareem Kasid, Chawki Abdelamir, Aurélia Lassaque, Gerður Kristný, Eric Motswasele and Bejan Matur – take to the stage at mima for what promises to be an unforgettable evening of poetry from Russia, Poland, Iraq, France, Iceland, Botswana and Turkey. Plus music from Lee Maddison & Stewart Hardy.


7.30pm | mima | Tickets £6/£4



Sunday 29 April 


Beautiful and Useful?


What are the political and social uses of poetry? How can poetry be useful as well as beautiful? Some of our guest poets discuss the social uses of poetry in Middlesbrough’s very own ‘useful museum’. A round-table discussion between Francis Combes, Zoila Forss, Eric Motswasele and Keabonye Bareeng. Chaired by Elinor Morgan, senior curator at mima.


11am | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want



Smokestack Lightning


The UK launch of two strong new collections from local publishers Smokestack Books. Set in contemporary Paris, Francis Combes’ If the Symptoms Persist is a book of gentle humour and savage irony. By contrast, you can never be entirely certain in The Great Plan B whether Justyna Bargielska is being serious or just seriously funny.


12.30pm | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want



The Arc of the Universe


The launch of two new books in translation published by Arc Publications. Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan’s The Parrot, the Horse and the Man finds beauty in the ordinary, while Gerður Kristný’s Drápa is an Icelandic crime novel in verse that combines Old Norse shield poetry and Scandi Noir.


1.30pm | mima | Tickets: Pay What You Want




Middlesbrough has been famous for many years for its annual, marathon poetry readings in Urdu, Punjabi and English. This year’s musha’ara brings poets from all over the UK to the festival, including Yawar Hussain, Farooq Ahmed, Rahat Zahid, Farzana Khan Naina, Salim Figar, Shehbaz Khawaja, Yashab Tamanna, Dr Mukhtaruddin Ahmed and Basir Sultan Kazmi, plus Teesside poets Mohammad Abbas Baig, Manzoor Ahmad, Khan Hanif, Arif Mohammed, Inayatullah Aajiz and Dr Haroon Siddiqi.


3pm | St Mary’s Centre, Corporation Road | FREE



Apples and Snakes


Tees Women Poets bring the festival to a rousing finale with poetry from Kirsten Luckins, Julie Easley, Sarah Crutwell, Janet Philo and Sara Zafar. Tees Women Poets are a performance poetry collective for women living or working in the Tees Valley, founded and facilitated by Apples and Snakes. They run a free monthly writing group and a monthly performance club at ARC in Stockton. Apples and Snakes have been ‘creating artistic and social change through the power of the spoken word’ for over 35 years.


7pm | The Terrace, Students’ Union, Teesside University | Tickets: Pay What You Want






T-Junction Advert (The Crack) (1)-1

Booking information


T-junction tickets are available to buy from Middlesbrough Town Hall box-office;


Call: 01642 729729 or 01642 815181


or visit


There is a 50p handling fee on all tickets bought from the box-office.


Credit/debit card payments will incur a charge of £1 per ticket for phone and online bookings, and £1 per transaction for in-person bookings.


Tickets for all events are available on the door.


PWYW = Pay What You Want.

Download Festival Guide At a Glance