What’s On: North East Literature and Book Events in December 2018

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About this Events Guide

Love all things literary? Looking for book events and literature lectures in the North East? Our monthly what’s on guide captures the literature and book chat, lectures, readings and other events taking place across the North East, in Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Teesside and beyond.

If you are organising a book and literature-related event that could be added, let us know.


Sat 01
11:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
If I Survive The Story of Frederick Douglass
with Celeste-Marie Bernier
Link to event Newcastle recently honoured the American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman with a blue plaque in Summerhill Square. Celeste-Marie Bernier (Professor of Black Studies, University of Edinburgh) explores Douglass’s legacy through previously unseen speeches, letters, autobiographies, and photographs. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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Sat 01
14:00 in City Library, City LibraryNewcastle
The Queen of the Kindle
with LJ Ross
Link to event LJ Ross is author of the best-selling DCI Ryan series based in Northumberland. Her latest book The Hermitage is 9th in the series and made the Amazon best-seller list before it had even been released (on pre-orders alone). This came as no surprise as her debut novel Holy Island (2015) reached #1 in the Amazon Kindle best-sellers chart, knocking Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train from the top spot! Organised by Books on Tyne.

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Sat 01
15:00 in Lit and Phil, Lit and PhilNewcastle
Alan Taylor in conversation with Sean O’Brien
Link to event Alan Taylor’s book is a personal, indiscreet and admiring memoir that charts the course of Muriel Spark’s life. She was once upset that her official biographer thought that she had never cracked a joke in her life. Alan Taylor here sets the record straight about this and many other things. Organised by Books on Tyne.

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Tue 04
17:00 in The Library, The LibraryDurham
Media Ecology and the Contemporary Novel
Link to event In this reading group, we’ll be discussing digital technology as a medium and its impact on the novel form, publishing, the interplay between print & digital culture, and the phenomenon of ‘book apps’ which give canonical work a contemporary update. Organised by CoLSAN.

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Wed 05
17:30 in Hallgarth House, Hallgarth HouseDurham
‘The Borders between Words in the Poetry of George Oppen’ and ‘Borders and Liminality in Caryl Phillips’ Crossing the River’
with Andrew Park and Pauline Hortolland
Link to event Join us for the final Inventions of the Text seminar of Michaelmas term, a postgraduate panel of two papers on the theme ‘Borders’. Organised by Inventions of the Text.

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Wed 05
17:30 in Philip Robinson Library, Philip Robinson LibraryNewcastle
John Bunyan: Advancing Godward in story and rhimes
with Brian Alderson
Link to event There wasn’t much in the way of adventure stories for children in 1677 so it’s unsurprising that The Pilgrim’s Progress found an instant popularity among younger readers as well as their elders. Brian will ruminate on that aspect of the book’s history, continuing down to the present, and will illustrate the talk with examples from his collection of some fifty editions now being donated to Newcastle University Library and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books. Organised by Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books.

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Wed 05
19:00 in Hope and Union, Hope and UnionStockton
DiVerse #9
Link to event A monthly spoken word night for unheard and under-represented voices in Teesside. DiVerse features special guests and open mic performers who are womxn, LGBTQIA+, visibly and invisibly disabled, refugee and artists of colour. DiVerse alternates venues between Hope & Union, Silver Street in Stockton and Shanti Bistro, Earth Beat Centre, Saltburn. Organised by Apples and Snakes.

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Thu 06
13:00 in Daysh Building, Daysh BuildingNewcastle
First Thursday Prose Reading
with Elizabeth Bostock and Lucie Brownlee
Link to event Elizabeth Bostock will read from her work in progress, a novel entitled Seabirds of Jutland which is inspired by her Danish family history. Lucie Brownlee is a writer, researcher and creative writing tutor. She is a Northern Writers’ Award fiction winner for 2018/19, and will be reading from her novel-in-progress, The Song of Annie Chapman. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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Mon 10
17:30 in Josephine Butler College, Josephine Butler CollegeDurham
Colonial modernity and the making of the post modern novel in India
with Professor Sambudha Sen
Link to event This talk makes a counterintuitive argument: that in negotiating the unprecedented transformations of colonial modernity Hootum Pyanchar Naksha (1861) – a popular, low-brow prose work by the Bengali writer Kaliprasanna Sinha – produced far reaching expressive strategies whose relevance for the future development of the novel form become evident only when we read it in relation to a late-twentieth-century post modern novels like work like Midnight’s Children (1981). Organised by Durham University Institute of Advanced Study.

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Mon 10
17:40 in World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, World Heritage Site Visitor CentreDurham
To distill gold out of ink: Thomas Nashe’s metallurgical prose
with Emily Rowe
Link to event The MEMSA seminar series convenes every two weeks to listen to a member deliver a paper relating to their current research, after which there is an opportunity for questions and discussion. As a group, we strive to create a supportive and generous atmosphere where members can present material and gain feedback. Organised by Durham University Medieval and Early Modern Studies Students Association.

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Thu 13
16:30 in St Chad’s College, St Chad’s CollegeDurham
with Ellen Phethean
Link to event Ellen Phethean is a founder member of The Poetry Virgins and Diamond Twig Press. Her work includes Wall, a novel in poems, Smokestack Books 2007. Her first poetry collection Breath, 2009 Flambard, was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman, Red Squirrel Press, was a Read Regional choice 2014. Her YA novel Ren and the Blue Hands was published by Red Squirrel, Postbox Press imprint in 2016. She runs workshops and teaches creative writing in Newcastle. Do come and join us for an inspiring and informal afternoon of juggling with words, perfect as the nights draw in… Organised by PopUpPoetry.

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Thu 13
19:15 in Culture Lab, Culture LabNewcastle
Preti Taneja in conversation with Sinéad Morrissey
Link to event Preti will be reading from, and in conversation about, her debut novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press, 2017) a powerful retelling of King Lear set in contemporary New Delhi and winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018. Organised by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

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Before you travel, please check all event information using the web links provided.


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