What’s On: North East Literature and Book Events in November 2019

The North East is exploding with book events this November. Here’s our comprehensive roundup of literary activities in Durham, Newcastle, Teesside, Sunderland and around the region. Share the events that interest you, and help support our amazing organisers.

Last month saw five literary festivals happening in the North East. November has (to our knowledge) just one – but fear not, because it’s a biggie. Books on Tyne runs from 23rd to 30th November, and features over 40 talks by well-known and regional authors, poetry readings, creative workshops, and performances. Events are spread between the City Library and Lit and Phil. We’ve highlighted a few of the more literary ones below, so visit the website for them all.

Also in Newcastle this month, a series of celebrations of Frederick Douglass. The nineteenth-century African American abolitionist visited Newcastle in 1846, and activities surrounding the launch of the new Frederick Douglass centre will include a poetry reading and a cultural festival with literary scholars and historians.

As usual, the North East poetry scene is fizzing with readings, from Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts to Gong Fu Poets to Colpitts. Particular mention for commemorations of Alistair Elliot, a key voice in the Northern Poetry Workshops, and mark your diaries for the return of the perpetually popular Pop Up Poetry on 21st November.

Finally, we’re very proud to be involved in three events next week that highlight the diversity of our research interests. On Wednesday 6th November, we remember the life of our former student and colleague Dr Jamie McKinstry, whose work on medieval memory and romance will be recalled by Professor Helen Cooper. On Thursday 7th November, we welcome Professor Stephanie Newell from Yale University to share her research into creative writing in colonial West Africa. And on Friday 8th, we’re off to the dogs to celebrate Louise Powell’s memoir of unlicenced greyhound racing in Easington and Wheatley Hill.

These are just a few of the book events in the North East this month. The full newsletter is below. To ensure you don’t miss anything, subscribe or follow us on Twitter and Facebook where we post regular updates. If you’re running an event next month, please submit it to the next newsletter by 25th.

20191102T20:00

Sat 02
20:00 in Northern Stage, Northern StageNewcastle
Commonism
with Andy Smith and Amund Sjølie Sveen
Link to event Commonism is a meeting of two people from different countries in search of some common ground. It’s a performed conversation – a dialogue that asks questions about nationality, internationality, theatre and politics. Organised by Northern Stage.

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20191106T17:00

Wed 06
17:00 in Palatine Centre, Palatine CentreDurham
Between Memory and the Future: Medieval Romance
with Professor Helen Cooper
Link to event A lecture in memory of Dr Jamie McKinstry, followed by a drinks reception. Organised by Durham University Department of English Studies.

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20191106T19:00

Wed 06
19:00 in Forum Books, Forum BooksCorbridge
Starve Acre
with Andrew Michael Hurley
Link to event Bestselling author of the Costa First Novel Award Winner and The British Book Awards’ Book of The Year The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley returns with his most atmospheric novel yet. Organised by Forum Books.

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20191107T13:00

Thu 07
13:00 in Armstrong Building, Armstrong BuildingNewcastle
First Thursday poetry reading
with Ruth McIIroy and Degna Stone
Link to event Degna Stone co-founded Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine and is a contributing editor at The Rialto. She is a Northern Writers’ Award winner, holds an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and is a fellow of The Complete Works 111, a national development programme for advanced BAME poets. Ruth McIllroy’s pamphlet Guppy Primer (Smith/Doorstop Books, 2017) was the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2017. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191107T18:15

Thu 07
18:15 in Calman Learning Centre, Calman Learning CentreDurham
Worlds of Print: Creative Writing in Colonial West Africa, 1880s- 1930s
with Professor Stephanie Newell
Link to event This lecture will give an overview of the central role of African-owned newspapers in creating platforms and publics for the earliest West African creative writers in English. Organised by Durham University Department of English Studies.

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20191107T19:00

Thu 07
19:00 in Waterstones, WaterstonesNewcastle
The Titans of SF
with Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Simon Morden
Link to event Some of the greatest names in sci-fi come together to discuss fictional futures and the furthest reaches their new novels explore. Organised by Waterstones.

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20191107T19:15

Thu 07
19:15 in Culture Lab, Culture LabNewcastle
Michael Hughes in conversation with Sinéad Morrissey
Link to event Michael Hughes will be reading from, and in conversation about, his second novel Country (John Murray, 2018), a retelling of Homer’s Iliad set in a lawless border county of post-ceasefire Northern Ireland in 1996. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191108T19:00

Fri 08
19:00 in Alington House, Alington HouseDurham
A Celebration of the Life and Poetry of Alistair Elliot
with Peter Armstrong, Sean O’Brien,Katharine Towers, Tony Williams, S J Litherland
Link to event This event will celebrate the work of the distinguished poet and translator Alistair Elliot(1932-2018) and mark the anniversary of his death. Organised by Colpitts Poetry.

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20191108T19:00

Fri 08
19:00 in Wheatley Hill Greyhound Stadium, Wheatley Hill Dog TrackWheatley Hill
This Place is Going to the Dogs
with Louise Powell and Laura McKenzie
Link to event Louise Powell’s memoir recalls a childhood spent flapping (unlicensed greyhound racing) in East Durham. With the aim of capturing this dying sport and the community that sustains it, Writing Durham visited the dog tracks at Easington and Wheatley Hill with Louise to make a film about memory, inspiration, place, and pride. Organised by Durham University Department of English Studies and New Writing North.

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20191108T20:00

Fri 08
20:00 in Ushaw College, Ushaw CollegeDurham
Quiet Sirens in a Different Kitchen
with Mike Garry and Toria Garbutt
Link to event Gong Fu Poets celebrate their 2nd Birthday and new home @Ushaw with top performers Mike Garry and Toria Garbutt and their new show ‘Quiet Sirens in a Different Kitchen’ Organised by Gong Fu Poets.

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20191112T19:15

Tue 12
19:15 in Percy Building, Percy BuildingNewcastle
Alistair Elliot: A Celebration
with Peter Bennet, Helen Farish, W.N. Herbert, Sean O’Brien, Jacob Polley, Kelsey Thornton
Link to event An event to celebrate the work of the distinguished poet and translator Alistair Elliot (1932-2018) and mark the anniversary of his death. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191113T17:30

Wed 13
17:30 in Frederick Douglass Centre, Frederick Douglass CentreNewcastle
I have come to tell you something about Slavery
Link to event This event is an opportunity to hear from eight of this country’s leading experts on the life of Frederick Douglass. The panel will discuss the historic links between slavery, Newcastle upon Tyne and the United Kingdom and to explore lessons for contemporary society. Organised by Newcastle University Insights.

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20191114T17:00

Thu 14
17:00 in Grey College, Grey CollegeDurham
Lumiere Poetry Reading
with Kate Clanchy
Link to event Celebrate the launch of Lumiere 2019 in this event with poet, Kate Clanchy. Free admission, all welcome. Organised by Durham University Centre for Poetry and Poetics.

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20191114T17:30

Thu 14
17:30 in Hallgarth House, Hallgarth HouseDurham
Inventions of the Text
with Dr. Madeleine Callaghan
Link to event An Inventions of the Text seminar. Organised by Inventions of the Text.

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20191114T19:15

Thu 14
19:15 in Kings Hall, Kings HallNewcastle
Elmet
with Fiona Mozley in conversation with Rachel Hewitt
Link to event Fiona Mozley’s first novel, Elmet (John Murray, 2018), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari Prize. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191115T18:00

Fri 15
18:00 in Kings Hall, Kings HallNewcastle
Frederick Douglass Centre Poetry reading
with Major Jackson
Link to event This is the closing event of the celebrations marking the opening of The Frederick Douglass Centre at Newcastle University. Major Jackson is a recipient of fellowships from: the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191115T18:00

Fri 15
18:00 in Bensham Grove Community Centre, Bensham Grove Community CentreGateshead
Frederick Douglass’ legacy
Link to event A cultural programme at Bensham Grove to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ legacy Organised by Newcastle University.

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20191118T17:40

Mon 18
17:40 in World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, World Heritage Site Visitor CentreDurham
The Recurring Green Girdle in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
with Hope Doherty
Link to event Seminars start at 6pm, with tea and coffee from 5:40. Everyone is welcome to attend. Organised by Durham University Medieval and Early Modern Studies Students Association.

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20191119T19:00

Tue 19
19:00 in Forum Books, Forum BooksCorbridge
Death in the East
with Abir Mukherjee
Link to event From the winner of the 2017 CWA Historical Dagger Award & the 2018 Wilbur Smith Award comes the fourth & newest in the Sam Wyndham series, Death in the East. Organised by Forum Books.

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20191121T00:00

Thu 21
00:00 in Old Cinema Launderette, Old Cinema LaunderetteDurham
Third Thursday Pop Up Poetry
with Poetry Exchange
Link to event Organised by PopUp Poetry.

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20191122T16:00

Fri 22
16:00 in St Chad’s College, St Chad’s CollegeDurham
‘George Colman the Younger and the Romance of History’ and ‘Images of the North in Amalie von Helvig’s writings’
with Susan Valladares and Jules Kielmann
Link to event We run a regular series of across the year. All are welcome, so please come along! Organised by North East Forum for Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies.

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20191122T18:30

Fri 22
18:30 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Books for the End of the World
with Daniel James
Link to event What books would you save from the Apocalypse? Acclaimed author Daniel James asks a panel of writers what novels they would hold dear come the end of the world. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191123T10:00

Sat 23
10:00 in Waterstones, WaterstonesDurham
Crime Book Group
with Barbara Nadel and Abir Mukherjee
Link to event Come and discuss the novels Incorruptible and Death in the East with their authors. Organised by Waterstones.

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20191123T14:00

Sat 23
14:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Rain
with Mary & Bryan Talbot
Link to event Mary and Bryan Talbot will be talking about their latest graphic novel, Rain. Set in the backdrop of disastrous floods in the North of England, Rain dramatically chronicles the developing relationship between two young women, one of whom is a committed environmental campaigner. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191125T14:00

Mon 25
14:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Poetry Event
with Mike Pratt with Emily Willis and Robin Moss
Link to event Self taught naturalist and career conservationist Mike has worked with many environmental organisations over the last thirty four years. The event will also feature poetry from Emily Willis and Robin Moss. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191126T11:00

Tue 26
11:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Tales of the Troubled Dead
with Catherine Belsey
Link to event Catherine will be discussing her book Tales of the Troubled Dead and the ways ghost stories appeal to our uneasy relationship with conventional good sense. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191126T12:30

Tue 26
12:30 in Lit and Phil, Lit and PhilNewcastle
Novels of University Life
with Keith Jewitt
Link to event Over the past 150 years, hundreds of novels have been written about university life. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191127T17:30

Wed 27
17:30 in Hallgarth House, Hallgarth HouseDurham
Inventions of the Text
with Dr. Miles Leeson
Link to event An Inventions of the Text seminar. Organised by Inventions of the Text.

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20191127T19:00

Wed 27
19:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Gathering the Evidence: Contemporary Crime Fiction
with Johana Gustawsson, Michael J. Malone, Matt Wesolowski and Will Carver
Link to event Join Johana Gustawsson, Michael J. Malone, Matt Wesolowski and Will Carver for a criminally fine investigation into contemporary crime writing. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191128T19:00

Thu 28
19:00 in Forum Books, Forum BooksCorbridge
he Inheritance of Solomon Farthing
with Mary Paulson-Ellis
Link to event In a tale of discovery and wartime mystery, set between contemporary Edinburgh and the final brutal days of the First World War, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing is the highly-anticipated second novel from the bestselling author of The Other Mrs Walker. Organised by Forum Books.

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20191128T19:15

Thu 28
19:15 in Culture Lab, Culture LabNewcastle
Poetry Reading
with Peter Bennet and Keith Hutson
Link to event Two very different northern poets published by Bloodaxe come together for a lively evening of storytelling poetry and engaging repartee. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191128T19:30

Thu 28
19:30 in Lit and Phil, Lit and PhilNewcastle
Red Squirrel Press: Poetry Launch
with Jo Reed Turner and Lindsay Reed
Link to event Red Squirrel Press invites you to the launch of two pamphlets, Faiake by well-known poet Jo Reed Turner and the debut pamphlet, My Dark Angels by Lindsay Reid. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191129T16:00

Fri 29
16:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Write it Out
Link to event Fiction allows us the freedom to create characters whose voices are often silenced or go unheard. When authors offer us LGBT protagonists, we have a chance to hear those voices and appreciate a wealth of lived experiences. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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20191129T19:00

Fri 29
19:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
Clear My Name
with Paula Daly and Professor Jackie Collins
Link to event Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. Paula will be in conversation with Professor Jackie Collins. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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