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Northumberland County Council > Libraries > What's in My Library > Special Collections-1 > Poems


also known as: Libraries, Literature, Northern Poetry Library, poem, Poetry.

Whether you are already a keen reader of poetry or just want to try some modern verse for the first time, the Northern Poetry Library is here to help you. Comprising of around 15,000 volumes, it is the largest collection of contemporary poetry in England outside London and can be used and borrowed from free of charge.

National Poetry Day 2nd October

As Far as I Know   New and Selected Potatoes   Telling Tales   Passionfood: 100 Love Poems


National Poetry Day was held 2nd October. 

In celebration of this The Northern Poetry Library has recently added a number of new and recent poetry collections to its stock. Why not try something different and borrow a book of poetry. All interests are catered for and a lot is surprisingly accessible to read. Here is a taster of some of the new titles:


 Roger McGough’s ‘As Far as I Know’ moves from his trademark wit (imagining the daily life of the Surrealists) to pathos as he contemplates ageing and inevitable death.

Another fine comic poet, John Hegley, has brought together a selection of his best work in ‘New and Selected Potatoes’ spanning nearly thirty years of his poetic career.

In ‘Telling Tales’ Patience Agbabi has reimagined ‘The Canterbury Tales’ for the 21st century, bringing Chaucer’s characters up to date and placing the poem cycle in modern London and Kent, making the medieval classic accessible to a modern audience.

Ellen Phethean is a well-known North East poet but surprisingly she has not published a standalone collection of her own poems until now. In ‘Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman’, she wryly examines middle age. Her Newcastle settings will strike a chord with many readers.

Neil Astley continues his series of bestselling anthologies (‘Staying Alive’) with a collection of love poems. ‘Passionfood: 100 Love Poems’ spans three thousand years, from Sappho to Carol Ann Duffy, celebrating the joyousness of love in all its forms.

On a completely different note, the award-winning cartoonist Martin Rowson has produced his third volume of ‘The Limerickiad: Byron to Baudelaire’ where he lampoons the great poets of the nineteenth century in a series of witty limericks.

These and many more collections of poetry can be borrowed for free from the Northern Poetry Library, Morpeth Library.

Northern Poetry Library

The Northern Poetry Library, located at Morpeth Library, is the largest collection of post-World War II poetry in England outside London. There are over 15,000 volumes, including first editions, signed copies and runs of poetry periodicals.

The Northern Poetry Library books can be borrowed and reserved for free as part of the library’s normal stock. Any book or magazine can be borrowed and collected from any Northumberland library. By joining Northumberland Libraries you automatically become a member of the Northern Poetry Library. You can reserve any of the books to be sent for free to your local Northumberland library.

The collection can be searched and reserved through the Library Online Catalogue, just click on the book covers above to search the library catalogue.

Opening Hours

Mon: 9am to 7.30pm

Tue: 9am to 7.30pm

Wed: 9am to 7.30pm

Thu: 9am to 5pm

Fri: 9am to 7.30pm

Sat: 9.30am to 12.30pm


The Northern Poetry Library is located upstairs at Morpeth Library:

Address: Gas House Lane, Morpeth, NE61 1TA


Telephone: 01670 620390

Poetry Reading Ideas

Children's Poems


Famous Poems


Funeral Poems


Life Poems


Love Poems


Northern Poets


Wedding Poems


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