Poetry is the beating heart of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, pulsing through 20 get-togethers a month where over 6,000 of us read, write, speak and listen to poems. Our 1,000 poets are hard at work: you might find them underground, behind steamy windows, lurking in libraries or mingling in mazes.
Poetry Pulse is a new project looking at how digital media and technology can help us capture the work our poets are doing, so that we can showcase our poetry to each other, regionally, nationally – and internationally, through our network of 28 Cities of Literature. I’m looking at the possibility of live streaming events and readings, so that we can link up with poets in other cities, and how films of our poets can generate opportunities to collaborate and share work. I also want to look at immersive technologies such as 360° video, and the potential they have to enhance the experience for existing and new audiences. Part of the project focuses on how we can use technology to engage audiences who are New to Nottingham – our migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities and the 60,000 students who join us each year.
It’s really important that we capture the pulse of poetry in Nottingham – there are poets who are pioneers whose work we have no unified record of – and we need to ensure that the vibrancy of work that’s going on at the moment is stored safely, creating a legacy for new writers. Our poetry scene is diverse, but it can be disparate: the project considers how we might create a single digital archive for poetry in Nottingham, making our work more visible, accessible and easier to find. I’m looking at what technical requirements a digital poetry hub might need, and how we curate and future-proof our content. A digital poetry hub opens exciting possibilities for future research and education projects, as well as giving us to the opportunity to directly share our learning and best practice with other UNESCO Cities of Literature.
The Poetry Pulse project runs from January-October 2019 and is funded by the AHRC and the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.