Painting the Poets

An Exhibition of 26 Contemporary Poets


Painting the Poets is an exhibition of portraits, honouring and celebrating 26 contemporary poets and will be accompanied by poetry performance events by some of the featured poets. Eastgate has selected poets whose work speaks to her. All are women and all are currently writing work with fresh and diverse voices within an increasingly vibrant British poetry scene. Mona Arshi, Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Holly McNish and Warsan Shire are among the poets who feature in the exhibition, to be held in London in 2019. 


"Portraiture has long had an important role in recording those people who contribute something of value to human society. Although women have spoken as poets and writers, since the beginnings of history, we know that patriarchy has often silenced women’s voices, undervalued the expression of female perspectives and downplayed or erased their contributions from historical canons.

It feels a really exciting time in poetry right now – a critical mass of women are speaking out, giving shape and expression to their experience, using poetic forms and attaining public recognition and stature.”  CE


Gillian Clarke, former National Poet of Wales, will open the exhibition with readings from her new collection Zoology. For a further 10 days the exhibition will become a cultural event including readings, spoken word performance, combined painting and poetry workshops and music. The exhibition will tour in further venues around the UK following the London opening.