jingle jingle!

jingle jingle!

30.6.12

ARTS & DARTS!



Born in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, where he has worked as a community development worker, poet,librarian and publisher, Keith Armstrong, now residing in the seaside town of Whitley Bay, is coordinator of the Northern Voices Community Projects creative writing and community publishing enterprise which specialises in recording the experiences of people in the North East of England. He has organised several community arts festivals in the region and many literary events featuring the likes of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Douglas Dunn, Barry Hines, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Katrina Porteous, Ian McMillan, Sean O'Brien, Edward Bond, Edwin Morgan, Uwe Kolbe, Attila the Stockbroker, Jon Silkin, Ivor Cutler, Adrian Mitchell, Julia Darling, Jackie Kay, Frank Messina, Ron Whitehead, Benjamin Zephaniah, Liz Lochhead, The Poets from Epibreren, Tsead Bruinja, The Poetry Virgins, and The Poetry Vandals. 
He was founder of Ostrich poetry magazine, Poetry North East, Tyneside Writers' Workshop, Tyneside Poets, East Durham Writers' Workshop, Tyneside Trade Unionists for Socialist Arts, Tyneside Street Press and the Strong Words and Durham Voices community publishing series.
He has recently compiled and edited books on the Durham Miners' Gala, the former mining communities of County Durham, the market town of Hexham amd the heritage of North Tyneside.


He qualified as a Chartered Librarian at Newcastle Polytechnic and was employed in this field at Newcastle University Library, Blyth Public Library, International Research and Development Company (I.R.D.,Newcastle), Merz & McLellan Consulting Engineers (Killingworth), Gateshead College and Sunderland Libraries, before becoming a community worker with Newcastle Neighbourhood Projects (part of Community Projects Foundation), research worker withTyneside Housing Aid Centre, and then Community Arts Development Worker (1980-6) with Peterlee Community Arts (later East Durham Community Arts).
As an industrial librarian at I.R.D., he was christened 'Arts & Darts', organising an events programme in the firm incuding poetry readings, theatrical productions, and art exhibitions by his fellow workers, as well as launching Ostrich poetry magazine using the firm's copying facilities and arranging darts matches between departments!
He has been a self-employed writer since 1986 and he was awarded a doctorate in 2007 for his work of Newcastle writer Jack Common at the University of Durham where he received a BA Honours Degree in Sociology in 1995 and Masters Degree in 1998 for his studies on regional culture in the North East of England.  
His book on Jack Common 'Common Words and the Wandering Star' was published by the University of Sunderland Press in 2009.

the jingling geordie

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whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur