The Tees Women Poets started life in 2011 as a performance poetry rehearsal club for women, run by Kirsten Luckins on behalf of national spoken word charity Apples and Snakes.
From 2011-2020, with Kirsten as producer, the TWP undertook a huge range of activities such as performance residencies at MIMA, multi-media experimental events at ARC Stockton, cabaret nights at local cafes, appearances at community arts festivals, feminist poetry evenings at indie bookshops, and the creation of podcasts to celebrate Votes for Women.
When key sister Sarah Crutwell began volunteering for the TWP in 2016, the group became even more firmly established with regular writing workshops led by Sarah complementing the monthly performance scratch club.
In 2020, with the withdrawal of Apples and Snakes from the region, the TWP elected to continue as an independently constituted group, with a board of directors who became known as The Guardians. Following successful funding bids to Arts Council England and TNL Community Fund, 2020-22 saw the TWP deliver a dizzying programme of free writing and performance workshops; social walks for isolated/ing sisters; a Poetry Penpals project; public walks for Stockton libraries; outreach workshops with women and girls from Rubies, TRAC, and Thrive charities; and an online open mic called TWOOMPH! which brought together performers from all around the world.
The TWP is currently seeking more funding to continue our work with the women of Teesside.
Our artistic director is Kirsten Luckins, and our Guardians are Sarah Crutwell, Ann Cuthbert, Julie Easley, Carmen Marcus, Chris Poole (Treasurer), Jenna Fraser (Secretary) and Rowena Sommerville (Chair). We are also able to call on co-opted artist advisors Charley Reay, Katharine Goda, and Amy Mitchell.