The Southbank Centre is the largest arts centre in the UK, and one of the nation’s top five visitor attractions. They seek out the world’s most exciting artists, from household names to fresh new talent, and give them space to showcase their best work. Their creative learning and participation activities help everyone express their creativity and explore their potential.

They are the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK, and their programme is brimming with today’s bestselling authors, award-winning poetry and spoken word. The Southbank Centre house the National Poetry Library, the world’s largest public collection of modern poetry.

As they prepare to reopen, they are focusing once more on finding and supporting the next generation of emerging talent.

About the Southbank Centre’s New Poets Collective programme

Be part of the Southbank Centre’s New Poets Collective 2021/2022.

They’re looking for up to 15 poets who can flourish as part of the New Poets Collective. Whether you are still finding and honing your voice, or are on the cusp of developing your work for the page and stage, they want to hear from you.

The New Poets Collective programme will be centred around the National Poetry Library. It will help this group of up to 15 poets hone their skills and expand their knowledge and confidence.

A number of free bursary places and travel stipends are available. They especially welcome applications from Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse poets, LGBTQI+ poets, disabled or neuro-diverse poets and working-class poets.

The New Poets Collective will begin at the London Literature Festival in October 2021. Over the course of a year, the group will develop creatively while drawing on and contributing to the rich and varied artistic life of the Southbank Centre.

The collective will be able to explore and be inspired by all the art forms and cross-arts events held at the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. The group will also have the chance to respond to the Southbank Centre’s own unique archive and history.

Lead tutors Vanessa Kisuule and Will Harris, and special guest poets will lead monthly sessions for the group. These sessions are designed to help the group’s members develop as versatile creative artists with skills and confidence across a range of genres, from page poetry to performative poetry and spoken word.

The programme will culminate in presentations at the London Literature Festival 2022 and a published anthology. It also includes industry insight sessions designed to provide tools for this group of emerging poets to build their writing careers in the years ahead.

Apply by Sunday 29th August 2021. The Southbank Centre aim to notify final successful candidates by Friday 1st October 2021.