News | Friday, 5th July 2019
Manchester Poetry Library appoints new Director
Becky Swain will lead the exciting cultural initiative as it counts down to a 2020 opening
Becky Swain has been appointed as the new Director of the Manchester Poetry Library – opening in spring 2020 at Manchester Metropolitan.
Swain, a vastly experienced arts and learning professional, joins the University from her current role as Head of Learning for the Arvon Foundation, the UK’s national organisation for residential writing centres.
The Manchester Poetry Library will be the first of its kind in the region, and just the fourth in the country, demonstrating the University’s commitment to widening access to poetry and supporting the creation and performance of new writing.
It opens next year in the new £46m Arts and Humanities building, which will also be home to the acclaimed Manchester Writing School and Manchester School of Theatre.
Poetry meeting place
Swain said: “I am delighted to be joining Manchester Metropolitan to lead the creation of a poetry meeting place for students, researchers, writers, and anyone interested, curious about, or simply inspired by poetry. My experience of working with talented writers and communities has shown me that poetry has a special place in the hearts of so many living in this city.
“For writers and readers alike, the best poetry and spoken word can explore what it means to be human and help us make sense of ourselves and the world around us. With the imagination and collaboration of partners and communities, we aim to shape a collection and public engagement programme that reflects the diversity of this amazing city and region.”
She will provide strategic leadership of Manchester Poetry Library in the countdown to its opening, working with the culture sector to develop partnerships and promoting the University’s work in celebrating poetry in the many languages and cultures of the city.
In her current role, Swain leads on Arvon’s work with young people and a wide range of partnerships with charities, arts organisations and community groups. Prior to joining in 2011, she was Learning Manager at Creativity, Culture and Education and Creative Partnerships, where she led on training and professional development for artists and teachers working in partnerships.
With the imagination and collaboration of partners and communities, we aim to shape a collection and public engagement programme that reflects the diversity of this amazing city and region.
Manchester Poetry Library’s collections will focus on late 19th, 20th and 21st century poetry from around the world, stocking journals, books, collections and anthologies, alongside a focus on audio recordings, poetry for children and poetry in translation. It will also host events, reading groups and performances.
Professor Jean Sprackland, Chair of the Manchester Poetry Library, said: “Becky’s appointment as Director is a very exciting moment for Manchester Poetry Library, as we count down to opening in 2020. Becky is a brilliant leader, who brings vision, expertise and a powerful commitment to the power of poetry to change lives.”