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Love books and all things literary? Live in or visit the North East? Our monthly listing keeps you in the know about literature and book chat, lectures, readings and discussions taking place across the North East, in Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Teesside and beyond. If you are organising a literature-related event that should be added, let us know.
15:00 in Palace Green Library and Hatfield College Chapel, Durham
|A Celebration of Northern Poetry: Basil Bunting’s Birthday, with Tom Pickard and Paul Batchelor|
|Celebrate the birthday of the great Northumbrian Modernist poet, Basil Bunting, and experience the joys of poetry from the North. 3.00 pm Tom Pickard presents film interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Ed Dorn, and Allen Fisher; Bill Lancaster talks about the Newcastle cultural scene in the 1960s; and Alex Niven talks about Basil Bunting’s letters. Palace Green Library, Learning Centre.
5.00 pm Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts: group reading of the poem in full. Hatfield College Chapel.
7.00 pm Tom Pickard and Paul Batchelor: Poetry Reading. Palace Green Library Café, with wine reception. This event is organised by Durham University Centre for Poetry and Poetics.
16:30 in Teesside University, Teesside
|Leasungspell: A Fool’s Tale, with Bob Beagrie|
|As part of a national tour, supported by Arts Council England, which includes performances at The British Museum, Durham Cathedral and Bamburgh Castle Bob Beagrie along with musicians Kev Howard, Peter Lagan, Sara Dennis and Stewart Forth bring the Anglo-Saxon wyrd to life at Teesside University. Bob will also discuss the use of Old English and Northern dialect forms used in the epic poem, the development of the work from published text to live performance and the relationship between writing for the page and for the stage. This event is organised by Teesside English Research Seminar.|
18:00 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham
|The art of cruising art in John Wieners’ The Hotel Wentley Poems, with Dr Barry Shiels|
|A Centre for Poetry and Poetics research seminar. This event is organised by Durham University Centre for Poetry and Poetics.|
19:15 in Culture Lab, Newcastle
|Helen Farish and Katharine Towers|
|Helen Farish will be reading from her third poetry collection, The Dog of Memory (Bloodaxe, 2016). Her first collection won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She also received a Poetry Book Recommendation and has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize. Katharine Towers completed an MA in Poetry at Newcastle University in 2007. She has published two poetry collections, both with Picador. The Floating Man won the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. The Remedies was published in 2016 and is shortlisted for the 2016 TS Eliot Prize. This event is organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.|
17:30 in Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham
|Historicist Interdisciplinarity in Literature and Science, with Dr Michael Whitworth|
|Unlike evo-criticism and other critical approaches that draw their authority from science, the historicist study of the inter-relations of literature and science is not methodologically interdisciplinary with respect to the sciences. However, it draws on other disciplines, notably the history and philosophy of science; in recent years, a turn towards the history of the book has also been apparent. Moreover, in many cases the authors it studies can be said to have been interdisciplinary. In this paper, drawing on my own work in relation to modernism and early twentieth-century science, I will consider interdisciplinarity avant la lettre, and the relation of critical practice to other historical disciplines. This event is organised by Durham University Inventions of the Text.|
09:00 in St Aidan’s College, Durham
|Unsettling the Myths we Live By: Feminist Perspectives on Human Nature, Culture and Freedom|
|The image of the enlightenment subject and the hero of the modern novel is that of a brave young man:
“he is free, independent, lonely, rational, responsible, brave … the offspring of the age of science, confidently rational and yet increasingly aware of his own alienation from the material universe that his discoveries reveal.” (Murdoch, The Sovereignty of the Good)
This conference seeks to unsettle this myth of enlightenment man and to use feminist perspectives to explore alternative conceptions of human nature, culture and freedom.
What does an account of the human subject, which takes seriously women’s lived experience, look like?
This conference explores this question under three broad themes: Human Nature, Culture, and Freedom. This event is organised by Durham University Department of Philosophy.
10:00 in Senate Suite, University College, Durham
|Editing behind the Scenes: a multidisciplinary approach|
|The Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) at Durham University will host a one-day workshop on the topic of Editing in Literature, Theatre, Digital Humanities, Music and Cinema. The concept of editing will be considered in its broadest sense by examining the variety of its use amongst different disciplines as well as in different cultural and historical contexts. The event will focus on methodologies and approaches adopted in selecting, revising and arranging written, audio and visual materials. Six scholars from diverse fields will present and discuss their work as practising editors: Carlo Caruso (MLAC, Italian Studies – Durham), Jan Clarke (MLAC, French Studies – Durham), Tina Gharavi (Digital Media/Film – Newcastle), Peter Heslin (Classics – Durham), Michael O’Neill (English Studies – Durham), Magnus Williamson (Music – Newcastle). The workshop will be followed by a roundtable discussion. This event is organised by Durham University Institute of Advanced Study.|
16:30 in University of Northumbria, Newcastle
|Poetry and Classics, with William Roberts and Katie East|
|William Roberts (independent, English) ‘Thomas Gray Three Hundred Years On’
Katie East (Newcastle, Classics) ‘Commenting on the Classics in the Eighteenth Century’ This event is organised by The North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies.
18:00 in World Heritage Site Visitors Centre, Durham
|Othering the Other: Distortions of Social Cognition in Two Icelandic Family Sagas, with Alex Wilson|
|In this paper, I will use the concepts elucidated by social cognitive theory, in tandem with those relating to normativity and Otherness, to analyse how two Icelandic family sagas, Droplaugarsona saga (The Saga of Droplaug’s Sons) and Fóstbrœðra saga (The Saga of the Sworn-Brothers), portray particularly violent conflicts between different communities. This event is organised by Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.|
19:00 in Waterstones, Newcastle
|An Evening with the Femme Fatales of the North East|
|Join us for a thrilling evening with the Femme Fatales of the North East: Sheila Quigley, Eileen Wharton, K. A. Richardson and Danielle Ramsay.
This panel of phonomenal writers will discuss their latest thrillers led by chair Dr. Jacky Collins. It is set to be a fantastic evening with a twist. This event is organised by Waterstones Newcastle.
09:30 in Institute of Advanced Study, Durham
|Scale of Nature: Long Nineteenth-Century Culture and the Great Chain of Being|
|Amongst the paradigms current in nineteenth-century culture the Great Chain of Being frequently held pride of place, vying against Darwinian approaches in what historian of science Peter Bowler described broadly as the ‘non-Darwinian revolution’. Arming scientists with a scale of nature – a fixed hierarchical arrangement of the natural world from the lowest rudimentary forms of life to its apogee in man – the Great Chain helped Victorian Britain reassert order and control in the face of perceived threats by the inherent randomness, chance and uncertainty of Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Paradoxically, in the battle between The Great Chain and Darwin, it was the Great Chain of Being that was frequently the fittest survivor. This one-day interdisciplinary conference examines this phenomenon, exploring Britain’s understanding of the Scale of Nature by investigating the Great Chain of Being in the context of the pre-, non- and post-Darwinian as well as Darwinian evolutionary culture in the long nineteenth century. It pays particular attention to visual representations of natural hierarchies. This event is organised by Durham University Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.|
10:15 in Sage, Gateshead
|How Short Is A Short Story?, with George Saunders, Jenn Ashworth, Paul McVeigh and Kirsty Logan|
|Acclaimed American short story writer George Saunders talks to Radio 3 presenter Matthew Sweet about travelling in time to explore Abraham Lincoln’s life during the American Civil War when the President’s beloved young son died. These historical events have inspired Saunder’s first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, whilst his short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeney’s and GQ.
He compares notes on the art of fiction long and short with Paul McVeigh, Jenn Ashworth and Kirsty Logan, who’ve been commissioned by New Writing North and the WordFactory to write Flash Fiction on the Festival theme of The Speed of Life. This event is organised by BBC Free Thinking.
13:20 in Sage, Gateshead
|The British Writer and the Refugee, with Dr Katherine Cooper|
|Katherine Cooper tells the untold story of the work done by British writers to save their European colleagues during World War Two.
She shows how H.G. Wells, Rebecca West and J.B. Priestley all became intertwined with the lives of writers fleeing persecution on the continent. Katherine peeps into drawing rooms, scrutinises the correspondence and draws on the fiction of key literary figures to explore crucial allegiances formed in wartime London. Why did these British writers believe that by saving Europe’s literary voices they were saving Europe itself? This event is organised by BBC Free Thinking..
14:15 in Sage, Gateshead
|Writing Life, with Simon Armitage|
|Simon Armitage has been described as ‘the best poet of his generation’. His latest collection explores life against a backdrop of economic recession and social division where globalisation has made alienation a common experience. He was born in West Yorkshire and lives near Saddleworth Moor.
His work includes his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and books exploring the South west’s coast path and the Pennine Way. He joins Alexandra Harris, the author of Weatherland, a history of English weather, to discuss time and place. Chaired by Radio 3 presenter Philip Dodd. This event is organised by BBC Free Thinking.
17:00 in Pottery Gallery, City Library, Sunderland
|Revolutionary Women: Imagining Louise Michel, with Dr Mary Talbot and Dr Laura O’Brien|
|In a year which started with women marching on Washington to defend their rights these talks will give some historical perspective on women’s political engagement and their roles in history. The graphic novel author and the historian meet to investigate the role of women in revolutions with a particular focus on Louise Michel known as the Red Virgin who was active during the Paris Commune of spring 1871. This will be an opportunity to reflect on how women’s political activities were understood and represented in revolutionary periods and how these historical figures are understood today. This event will also coincide closely with International Women’s Day held every year in March and the anniversary of the Paris Commune, founded in March 1871.
Furthermore, this is an opportunity to consider the ways in which history is created and presented by the professional historian and by the graphic biographer. This event is organised by University of Sunderland.
Before you travel, please check all event information using the web links provided.