North East English Literature Events in February 2017

reading_sticky2017 has certainly got off to an eventful start. This month’s listing of literature events in the North East is very much a mix of bookish events that engage with the real world and those that allow us to escape from it through reminding ourselves of the pleasures of reading and writing.

Raising a banner to confront current events head-on, Poetry for Trying Times promises palinodes against prejudice, rhymes against racism, haiku against hate, and any other alliterative forms you can think of; join the Centre for Poetry and Poetics for what promises to be a lively evening on 2nd December. Many of the poems read at this event will no doubt reference contemporary concerns, but Moralities in the Nineteenth Century reminds that ethical and political concerns have always been central to literary thinkers like Bronte and Austen. In more recent times on the home front, Michael Chaplin introduces Hame – My Durham, Sid Chaplin’s tender memorialisation of the now lost industry in the North East. Writers like Sid Chaplin have always faced a struggle to get their ideas into print – but what hope for writers of today? In What are Writers Worth at the Lit and Phil, Alistair McCleery gives the hard facts and figures on life as a writer.

But if all that’s a bit too pessimistic for you, some escapism too. On 8th February you’ve got a choice: find out about folklore with Glass Slippers, Stinky Cheese Men and Percy Jackson in our own Inventions of the Text seminar starting at 5.30, or hop up to Newcastle for Fantasy Worlds with author Frances Hardinge at 18.00. Later in the month, explore Voices, Visions and Divine Inspiration looking at how the enigmatic experience of voice hearing has been represented and interpreted in different religious contexts from the medieval period to the present, including in literature and poetry. And if you’re looking for your own inspiration as a writer or reader, check out the great work done by the small presses that publish some of the most innovative and exciting new fiction and poetry today. Reading and Being Read at Newcastle City Library explains that you really can judge a book by its cover.

Also on the theme of escapism – this time literal – if you’re looking for a great day out, and haven’t already seen the two literary-related exhibitions on in Durham, time is now running out. ‘The best words in the best order’ Poetry in Durham and the North East and Hearing Voices: Suffering, Inspiration, and the Everyday continue for just a while longer at Palace Green Library.

This is just a snapshot of what’s on in the North East this month. Subscribe to our full listing for our monthly newsletter, or keep in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook for reminders and additional events. Follow or post using the hashtag #NELiteratureEvents to help publicise your own activities.


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