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Nottingham Poetry Festival Appoints New Creative Director

Nottingham Poetry Festival has announced the appointment of a new Creative Director with experience of working on international arts and local community projects focused on young people and wellbeing.

Alma Solarte-Tobón
Alma Solarte-Tobón

Alma Solarte-Tobón will bring her experience of art, poetry and storytelling to build on the work of previous directors Anne Holloway and Georgina Wilding. The festival founded by poet Henry Normal and Confetti CEO Craig Chettle MBE has become an integral part of Nottingham’s cultural offer, attracting audiences from all over the country.

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.”

A Fine Art graduate from Nottingham Trent University, Alma has worked for the last 20 years  in the community arts sector - City Arts - implementing projects focused on wellbeing and the artistic development of young people.

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.”

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.”

As a current Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University, Alma is looking to further explore 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 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).

In the last three years, Alma has been working with the Storytelling Academy at Loughborough University as a Research Associate. The research projects are centred around interdisciplinary work, focusing on how people's stories add value to the research.

The 2023 Nottingham Poetry Festival took place in May with 3,000 people enjoying performances, creative activities, talks and workshops across the city’s pubs, bookshops, libraries, theatres and community venues.

For more information :

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    About Nottingham Poetry Festival

    Nottingham Poetry Festival was launched in April 2015 by Nottingham-born poet, TV and film producer Henry Normal and CEO of Confetti Media Group Craig Chettle MBE. The Festival has become an integral part of Nottingham’s cultural offer, attracting audiences from all over the country. Festival line-ups have included Linton Kwesi Johnson,  Brian Bilston, Hollie McNish, Yomi Sode, Carol Ann Duffy, Luke Wright, John Cooper Clarke, John Hegley and Roger McGough together with many local poets including Bridie Squires,  Ioney Smallhorne, Jamie Thrasivoulou, and Gregory Woods.


    Castle Rock Brewery, Arts Council England, Confetti Media Group

Published on 6 July 2023
  • Category: Press office