We bring world-class speakers, emerging voices and inspirational debate to public libraries and the people who use them. We livestream compelling cultural events with libraries across the UK, so you can get a front-row seat for free no matter where you live. Explore the website to watch our previous events and discover what we have coming up.
More information about the Living Knowledge Network and the British Library can be found here
Join us here live: Monday 22 November, 19:00 - 20:30. Join Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum an award-winning educational leader, a noted expert on the psychology of racism and best-selling author of Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for a transatlantic conversation about race. Dr. Tatum will be joined on stage by leading UCL Academics and others to discuss and debate the issue of race and racism, why it persists, how we address it through education and how we can talk about it. The event will be streamed live from the Bloomsbury Theatre at UCL and will include a keynote from Dr. Tatum and an armchair discussion followed by an audience Q&A.
Join us here live: Thursday 11 November, 19:30 - 20:30. Join historian Dominic Selwood for a vivid exploration of how treasures from the British Library’s collection reveal the changing identities of Britain. In this colourful talk — based on his new book Anatomy of a Nation: A History of British Identity in 50 Documents — Dominic Selwood delves into a kaleidoscope of documents from the British Library’s unique collection to assemble the story of how Britain evolved through the classical and medieval worlds to the modern day. Some documents are familiar, like the mesmerizing musical rhythms of Beowulf, the jewel of Anglo-Saxon poetry that survives in just one slightly burned copy. Others are less so, including the irate bull of Pope Innocent III excommunicating anyone who obeyed Magna Carta for the sin of rising against an anointed king. Some are more personal and subtle, like the first Valentine’s letter, sent in 1477 by an amorous Norfolk woman anxious at her modest dowry. While others speak to the nation, like Vaughan Williams’s 1921 score of The Lark Ascending, a visceral reaction to his experiences in the trenches of World War One, and now a forlorn reminder of the carnage later generations have inflicted on the countryside’s once musical and colourful biodiversity. Weaving these evocative documents together, Dominic uncovers a Britain we have never seen before. People are at the heart of the story: a female charioteer queen from Wetwang, a plague surviving graffiti artist, a drunken Bible translator, outlandish Restoration rakehells, canting criminals, the eccentric fathers of modern typography and the bankers who caused the finance crisis.
We are working with Libraries Connected to stream the Grand Finale of the Novels that Shaped Our World project. We are delighted to bring this day-long event to all library staff who have contributed to the project and celebrate the amazing contributions you have made to make the project a success. Libraries Connected are delighted to invite you to a day of celebration of libraries and books, reflecting on an extraordinary 18 months where reading has been a lifeline to many and showcasing the BBC Novels That Shaped Our World Libraries Programme. In the morning we’ll be hosting a reading round table with speakers including Monique Roffey; Arts Council England; The Reading Agency; and RNIB, exploring the role of reading during Covid-19 and personal reflections on how to connect more people to the power of reading. The second session will be a joyous and moving showcase by libraries of some of the many reading and cultural projects inspired by the Novels that Shaped Our World. 11.30am - 1pm: Reading Round Table 1pm - 2pm: BREAK 2pm - 4pm: Celebratory showcase of libraries' work
Join us here live: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 19:30 - 20:30 Zimbabwean novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga receives the prestigious 2021 PEN Pinter Prize and delivers her keynote address at a ceremony hosted by British Library and English PEN. This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network. Watch last year's PEN Pinter Prize ceremony awarding Linton Kwesi Johnson <a href="http://living-knowledge-network.co.uk/library/pen-pinter-prize-linton-kwesi-johnson" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>. The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature. In memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter, the prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth or former Commonwealth, who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’. Tsitsi Dangarembga was chosen by this year’s judges: The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; literary critic and Editor-at-large for Canongate, Ellah P Wakatama, and poet Andrew McMillan. The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty. The co-winner, selected by Tsitsi Dangarembga from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN, is announced at the event. This year's award ceremony is part of Common Currency, a year-long celebration of freedom of expression, creative campaigning, and the best literature the world has to offer to mark English PEN's centenary year. For more information visit: englishpen.org/commoncurrency The PEN Pinter Prize is supported by the generosity of Ruth Maxted and The Blavatnik Family Foundation.
Vital Discussions On Demand is a series of conversations created by the Royal Society for Literature. Join Deborah Levy and Merve Emre as they discuss what Virginia Woolf means to them and the enduring influence of her work on their own writing.This event is presented in partnership with <a href="https://lithub.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">LitHub</a>. This wide-ranging conversation will feature an exploration of Woolf’s strength and fragility, how reading writers of the past shapes the authors of today, and what we still have to learn from Woolf and her work. You can discover upcoming events from the RSL on their website <a href="https://rsliterature.org/whats-on" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>. You can also <a href="https://rsliterature.org/join-support/membership" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">become a member</a> of the RSL, offering the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club, rolled into one, all year round. <a href="https://rsliterature.org/digital-events-pass" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Purchase an RSL Digital Events Pass</a> to access all RSL events for just £25 for a year.
Vital Discussions On Demand is a series of conversations created by the Royal Society for Literature. Ruth Padel is joined by Lisa Appignanesi for a timely discussion about loss and memory, parents and children, the fragility of life, and the Holocaust on Crete. In reflections on art, music and archaeology, two RSL Fellow writers explore eras of instability and how culture helps us to understand them. You can discover upcoming events from the RSL on their website <a href="https://rsliterature.org/whats-on" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>. You can also <a href="https://rsliterature.org/join-support/membership" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">become a member</a> of the RSL, offering the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club, rolled into one, all year round. <a href="https://rsliterature.org/digital-events-pass" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Purchase an RSL Digital Events Pass</a> to access all RSL events for just £25 for a year.
Watch again now. This event took place on: 18 October 2021. CW: This event contains discussion of mental illness and racial slurs. Actor and writer David Harewood and Gary Younge discuss the themes of David’s new book Maybe I Don’t Belong Here, a deeply personal exploration of the duality of growing up both Black and British, and of recovery from crisis. This event stages a rallying cry to examine the systems and biases that continue to shape our society. RSL 200 is the Royal Society of Literature’s bicentenary event series bringing together some of the world's best-known writers to explore the impact of literature on their lives. This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network. You can purchase David Harewood's book 'Maybe I Don't Belong Here' from the British Library bookshop <a href="https://shop.bl.uk/collections/october-2020/products/maybe-i-dont-belong-here" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>, or borrow from your local library.