Morden Tower Prints

Scope and Content

This archive consists of 26 limited edition prints of posters relating to poetry readings at Morden Tower, Newcastle.

Administrative / Biographical History

The building known as Morden Tower dates back to the 13th Century, forming a defensive turret in the historical west walls of Newcastle, England, and was occupied by the Company of Plumbers, Plasterers and Glaziers from the 16th Century. The tower fell into a derelict state until 1964, when Connie Pickard took on the lease and started the Morden Tower poetry readings with her husband, Tom. The first reading took place on 16th June 1964, from poet and songwriter Pete Brown. At this time, Tom Pickard also contacted poet Basil Bunting and invited him to the readings; Bunting attended every event in the Tower's first two years, and it encouraged him to return to writing poetry, including his epic poem Briggflatts which he first performed at the Tower in December 1965. Many poets have given readings at Morden Tower, including Allen Ginsberg, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Simon Armitage, Stevie Smith, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Hugh MacDiarmid, J. H. Prynne, Alan Hull, Tom Raworth, Carol Ann Duffy and Helen Dunmore. The Morden Tower poetry readings were supported by funding from Arts Council England up until 2005.

Access Information

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Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make published use of any material from Newcastle University's Special Collections must be sought in writing from the Special Collections Librarian (email: ) and from the copyright owner if appropriate. The library will assist where possible with the identification of copyright owners, but the responsibility to obtain copyright clearance rests with the user.