Nottingham Poetry Festival appoints new creative director to build on success

Nottingham Poetry Festival has announced the appointment of a new Creative Director with experience of working on international arts and local community projects
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Alma Solarte-Tobón has announced she will be joining the Poetry Festival to bring her experience of art, poetry and storytelling to build on the work of previous directors Anne Holloway and Georgina Wilding. Alma is currently a Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University and exploring how art can help tell stories.

Her practice-based research focuses on narratives around emotional literacy from the Latin American community in the East Midlands. Her expertise will be a boost to the poetry festival which took place at venues across the city centre this year in May. Over 3,000 people attended the festival in 2023 to enjoy performances, creative activities, talks and workshops across the city’s pubs, bookshops, libraries, theatres and community venues including The Fox and Grapes pub in Sneinton.

Speaking about the role, Alma said: Alma said: “I have always sought ways to tell stories, my story as a Latin American, my story as an artist, my story as a migrant. Art, poetry and storytelling has been central to many of the collaborations, projects and community engagements that I have been delivering and I am looking forward to bringing this experience to the role.”

The festival was founded by poet Henry Normal and Confetti CEO Craig Chettle MBE and it has become an integral part of Nottingham’s cultural offer, attracting audiences from all over the country. A Fine Art graduate from Nottingham Trent University, Alma has worked for the last 20 years in the community arts sector at City Arts, implementing projects focused on wellbeing and the artistic development of young people.

Henry Normal said: “Alma is the perfect person to take the Nottingham Poetry Festival into a very exciting new phase. The future of this great literary celebration is in good hands.”

Tommy Rosley, Nottingham Poetry Festival producer, said: “The Nottingham Poetry Festival team is so excited to welcome Alma as our Creative Director. Her wealth of experience working internationally across arts sectors alongside her passion for poetry and creative approach to projects will enable the festival to flourish for years to come and continue to build on the fantastic work of the team and our previous directors Anne Holloway and Georgina Wilding. We have many exciting plans and projects afoot, and you’ll be hearing about them soon.”

Alma’s work has included Erasmus+ funded international projects, large scale arts events and public art commissions, consulting with artists, partner organisations and communities including ‘Byron Busk’ Festival, (First Art, Hucknall 2016) and ‘PoGo: Poetry on the Go app’, (City Arts, international collaboration 2022).