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The Poetry Exchange

In 2014 I was commissioned by Wise Words festival to create something for their programme. I was curious about the act of reading poetry and the kinds of conversation that take place between reader and the page. Out of this grew The Poetry Exchange, a project that through live events and an award winning podcast celebrates the place of poetry in people’s lives.


The Poetry Exchange has collaborated with a wide range of partners including: Durham Book Festival, Manchester Writing School, Ty Newydd Writers Centre, Latitude Festival and The National Poetry Library, been featured in the National Press, on BBC Radio and holds silver award for ‘most original’ podcast from The British Podcast Awards.


The project and podcast is focused around the idea of one visitor talking about the poem that’s been a friend to them. Visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known guests such as Krista TippettAndrew ScottMaxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph. 


The artistic practice at the heart of the work is my passion -  a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between narrative, poetry and voice and combining close reading, conversation and audio curation. I am proud to have gathered alongside me a team of some of the UK’s best writers, producers and performers in developing and delivering a range of live and recorded formats. Key collaborators include; Michael Shaeffer, John Prebble, Andrea Witzke Slot, Sarah Salway, Sarah Butler, Hafsah Bashir, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Degna Stone, Victoria Field, Natasha Gordon, Alison McManus, Roy McFarlane. The project is connected to some of the UK and Ireland’s leading poets in featuring them and their work, including; Carol Ann Duffy, Roy McFarlane, Tony Harrison, John McAuliffe, Paul Durcan. 


In 2019 the project was awarded charitable status and through a wide range of activities designs and delivers events and projects that through poetry bring people closer to themselves and one another.


To read more and to listen, head to:


Fiona and Michael at Latitude Festival with Poetry Exchange guests, Hannah Jane Walker and Nadine Shah

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The Poetry Exchange at Durham Book Festival

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