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

Sorry for being a little later than usual due to industrial action, but we’re still pleased to bring you an early gift for the festive season: a sackful of book-based activities in Durham, Newcastle, Teesside, Sunderland and around the region. Share the events that interest you, and support the organisers of our wonderful cultural scene.

The brightest literary fairy light this month shines at the Words Weekend at Sage Gateshead. This brand-new festival celebrates the power of words and stories with a packed programme of talks, workshops, panel discussions, music and spoken word. We’ve selected just a few events below that are likely to be most relevant to our readers, but visit the website for the full listing.

Also of note, the Life of Breath project bring another poetry workshop, with Christy Drucker, to Middlesborough. Be inspired to develop new work by the most basic of bodily functions: breathing. The following day, head to Newcastle for a poetry reading with Malika Booker and Jo Shapcott organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

Finally, a forecast for the end of the month: Winter is Coming! Join Durham University’s Institute of Early Modern and Medieval Studies for a sumptuous reception with cheer and mystery.

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 30th December; the newsletter will go out on 3rd January.

20191205T19:15

Thu 05
19:15 in Culture Lab, Culture LabNewcastle
On Adaptation
with Hannah Greig and Gwyneth Hughes
Link to event Greig and Hughes will discuss how historical adaptation for television requires, in Greig’s words, an ‘engagement with history [that] runs far deeper’ than ‘the stuff of surface detail.’ Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.Tweet Facebook Email Add to Calendar
20191206T18:00

Fri 06 to Sun 08
18:00 in Sage, SageGateshead
Words Weekend: Where Words Come to Life
Link to event Words Weekend celebrates the power of words and stories with a packed programme of talks, workshops, panel discussions, music and spoken word. 40% of the 60+ events are free, and all are fully accessible and BSL interpreted. Through the power of words and stories, Words Weekend aims to unite communities and ignite imaginations. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191206T19:00

Fri 06
19:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
In Conversation
with Bernardine Evaristo & David Olusoga
Link to event According to The New Statesman, ”If you want to understand modern day Britain, this is the writer to read”. Bernardine Evaristo’s new novel Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different people. Aged 19 to 93, they span a variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, sexualities, classes and occupations as they tell the stories of themselves, their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Join the award-winning writer in conversation with historian and Words Weekend ambassador David Olusoga discussing Evaristo’s eighth book, and what it means to be British today. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T11:00

Sat 07
11:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
How to Make a Living as a Poet
with Jo Bell and Tara Bergin, and Theo Jones
Link to event Poets Jo Bell and Tara Bergin, in conversation with Theo Jones from the Society of Authors, will discuss what their writing life looks like and how they effectively engage with publishers, readers and new audiences to make a living from their work. This will be followed by a networking event and a free masterclass with Theo Jones. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T12:00

Sat 07
12:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Spoken Word
with Tony Gadd
Link to event Tony Gadd is a NE born Poet, who was once described as a big lad with a big voice, a bit like a posh ‘Ross Noble’… he spreads the word and love of it by running and hosting the unique ‘Gong Fu Poets’ spoken word events at The Wabi Sabi Academy. He is currently Poet in Residence for the Norman Cornish Centenary Celebration year. A voice, with a unique perspective, he’s open, honest and engaging and not afraid to say what others avoid… Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T13:00

Sat 07
13:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Marian Keyes In Conversation
with Laura Jane Williams
Link to event For over twenty years Marian Keyes has been writing hilarious, internationally bestselling fiction about modern women in the modern world. Her books deal variously with contemporary issues, including addiction, depression, domestic violence and the glass ceiling, but are always written with compassion, hope and her trademark Irish humour. Hear Marian discuss her love of books, how she came to write, her opinions on the changing attitudes towards women in Ireland, and her obsession with Strictly Come Dancing. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T13:30

Sat 07
13:30 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
The Perfect Crime Panel
with Amer Anwar, Fiona Cummins, Mari Hannah, Olivia Kiernan & Trevor Wood
Link to event Join us and five leaders of the genre to discuss the secrets of writing the Perfect Crime novel… Amer Anwar, Fiona Cummins, Mari Hannah, Olivia Kiernan and Trevor Wood share the secrets of keeping readers guessing and on the edge of their seats. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T15:00

Sat 07
15:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
A Single Thread
with Tracy Chevalier
Link to event Tracy Chevalier is the author of ten novels, including At the Edge of the Orchard, Remarkable Creatures and Girl with a Pearl Earring, an international bestseller that has sold over five million copies and won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191207T17:30

Sat 07
17:30 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Born Lippy Showcase
with Kema Kay, Salena Godden, Testament with Apples & Snakes
Link to event Spoken word trailblazers Apples and Snakes and Newcastle poetry collective Born Lippy present an incredible line-up, featuring Zambian-born Newcastle-raised actor, rapper, singer Kema Kay (I, Daniel Blake and his one-man show Shine), one of Britain’s foremost poet’s Salena Godden and record-breaking beatboxer, hip-hop MC, poet, and theatre maker Testament. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191208T11:00

Sun 08
11:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Poems from the edge of Extinction
with Chris McCabe
Link to event With a recent report stating that dialects will disappear over the next 50 years, join three UK poets who write in the language of their region. Hosted by Chris McCabe, editor of Poems from the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry In Endangered languages, who will also read poems in his native Scouse tongue. Katrina Porteous will read her work in Northumbrian dialect and Scots poet Peter McCarey will presents poems from The Syllabary, his ongoing project to write a poem for every syllable in the English language. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191208T14:15

Sun 08
14:15 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Lisette Auton Does Stuff with Words
Link to event Lisette Auton is a disabled writer, poet, spoken word performer, theatre-maker and creative practitioner – she does stuff with words. She is an award winning poet and one of Penguin Random House UK’s WriteNow mentees for her children’s novel based on the North-East coast. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191208T16:00

Sun 08
16:00 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Ben Okri in conversation
with Margaret Busby OBE
Link to event Booker Prize winning Nigerian author and poet Ben Okri talks to editor and broadcaster Margaret Busby OBE about his latest novel The Freedom Artist as well as his latest short story collection Prayer for the Living . Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191208T19:30

Sun 08
19:30 in The Sage, The SageGateshead
Writing Thrillers
with Fiona Barton, Linda Green, Harriet Tyce
Link to event An evening with three of the best psychological thriller writers in the country. Organised by Fane Productions.

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20191210T11:00

Tue 10
11:00 in Middlesbrough Central Library, Middlesbrough Central LibraryMiddlesbrough
Catch Your Breath: a poetry workshop
with Christy Ducker
Link to event Join poet Christy Ducker for a writing workshop inspired by one of our most fundamental bodily functions: breath. We will write in response to art and ideas from around the world, thinking about breath and respiratory health in new ways. Expect to play with breath in the poetic line, and let the air into your writing! Organised by Life of Breath.

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20191212T19:15

Thu 12
19:15 in Culture Lab, Culture LabNewcastle
A poetry reading
with Malika Booker and Jo Shapcott
Link to event Malika Booker’s pamphlet, Breadfruit, was published by flipped eye in 2007. Her first full-length collection, Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree, 2013), was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize. Jo Shapcott has won the National Poetry Competition twice and is the author of seven acclaimed collections from Faber & Faber. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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20191213T16:00

Fri 13
16:00 in Lipman Building, Lipman BuildingNewcastle
Festive poetry reading
Link to event We run a regular series of across the year. All are welcome, so please come along. Organised by The North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies.

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20191216T17:00

Mon 16
17:00 in Durham Castle, Durham CastleDurham
Winter is Coming!
Link to event This year’s IMEMS reception will be a little more sumptuous, with festive cheer and mystery. Organised by Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

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