Uncollected: Poets - UEA Archive launch

On 22 November 2023 we celebrated the launch of exciting new archive collections from four dazzling voices in contemporary poetry: Jay Bernard, Anthony Vahni Capildeo, Gail McConnell and Joelle Taylor. 

The poets read from a new collection of their writing inspired by our Mellon Foundation funded project:  'Towards a Centre for Contemporary Poetry in the Archive'  which began in May 2022 and concluded at the end of November 2023.  The poets were in conversation with Visiting Poetry Fellow Will Harris and the project team reflected on the groundbreaking archive project. You can watch a captioned recording of the event at this link:  Uncollected Poets: Archive and Publication Launch, 22 November 2023 · Events · Towards a Centre for Contemporary Poetry in the Archive (omeka.net)

Videos, exhibitions, the final published report and a book of poetry and creative critical writing from the poets in residence can be found on our exhibition site: https://contemporarypoetryarchive.omeka.net/  

For further information, or to request the report, please contact: archives staff

About the project

'Towards a Centre for Contemporary Poetry in the Archive', began in May 2022 and concluded at the end of November 2023. Our four Poets in Residence – Jay Bernard, Anthony Vahni Capildeo, Gail McConnell and Joelle Taylor – were announced in an event held at Dragon Hall in Norwich, home to the National Centre for Writing, one of our partners in the project. They gave readings and were in conversation with Visiting Poetry Fellow Will Harris and UEA academic Jeremy Noel-Tod. You can access our video of the event below, which includes closed captions. 

Access the launch event video

The project was a joint initiative between UEA, the National Centre for Writing and Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service. The collections that form the Centre are now based within the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW), part of UEA Library's Archives and Special Collections. The project aimed to promote and preserve the archives of contemporary poets of colour, LGBTQ+ poets and writers from other historically underrepresented backgrounds and practises in the UK and Ireland. 

About the Project Team

The project team consisted of: Will Harris, Visiting Poetry Fellow; Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod, Principal Investigator and Justine Mann, Project Manager and Archivist. There was also an Advisory Board and a Stakeholder Consultation Group made up of members from a wide variety of institutions and disciplines both within the UK and internationally, representing poets, poetry publishers, public libraries, archives and creative and cultural engagement networks. 

More about the project


On 25 May 2023, a Symposium was held at the University of East Anglia:  'Poetry, Representation and the Archive'. Access programme

Video: The launch event