Former Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, reflected on her writing career and how her work has been adapted into graphic fiction, plays and TV series, ahead of the release of the 2020 TV adaptation of her award-winning YA series 'Noughts and Crosses'. She was joined by 'Noughts and Crosses' scriptwriter Nathaniel Price and journalist Nicolette Jones. This event was programmed to coincide with the British Library's exhibition on rebels in children’s literature, in partnership with The Royal Society of Literature.
Much-loved author Jacqueline Wilson talks about writing rebel girls who stand up for friendship, justice, and what they believe in. This event coincided with the British Library's Marvellous and Mischievous exhibition and celebrated the release of the Tracy Beaker book We Are The Beaker Girls. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 11 November 2019 to public libraries across the UK. This event is recommended for ages 8+.
Join us here live: Wednesday 31 March. 19.30.
This event will be live-captioned.
The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s.
As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about her new book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose.
Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle.
Bessie’s life was as tempestuous as it was extraordinary. Born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows alongside the likes of Ma Rainey. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies.
Smith’s life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of ‘bathtub gin’, got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Her gorgeous and powerful voice, unapologetic songs and bold personality have been an inspiration to many ever since.
<b>Purchase your copy of Jackie Kay's <i>Bessie Smith</i> <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/bessie-smith-jackie-kay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></b>
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This event took place on: 25 October 2020.
The Forward Prizes rank among the year’s great literary celebrations: this event is unmissable for anyone interested in the best new poetry published today. Hear poems from each of the 15 shortlisted poets and find out who has won the most coveted poetry prizes in the British Isles.
Shortlist for Best Collection: £10,000
Caroline Bird, Natalie Diaz, Vicki Feaver, David Morley, Pascale Petit
Shortlist for Best First Collection: £5,000
Ella Frears, Will Harris, Rachel Long, Nina Mingya Powles, Martha Sprackland
Shortlist for Best Single Poem: £1,000
Fiona Benson, Malika Booker, Regi Claire, Valzhyna Mort, Sarah Tsiang
Poems of desire – for a voice, for breathing space, for bodies missed or missing – are a recurring theme in this year’s shortlists. They celebrate a world whose inhabitants are spurred to song by the need to assert their own existence and history. They speak of flesh, muscle and all forms of touch, from the knock-out blows of boxer Tyson Fury to lovers’ kisses.
Several poets follow threads of language to places as various as the Dale Farm traveller site, a palace-prison in 16th-century Spain, an East London housing estate and the Mojave reservation of southern California, while others make vivid the stuff of everyday life: birdsong, lawnmowers, petrol stations.
The Forward Prizes judges, Alexandra Harris, Kim Moore, Roger Robinson, David Wheatley and Leaf Arbuthnot read over 208 poetry collections, and 205 single poems entered from journals, to find the most exciting poetry published across the UK and Ireland.
The Prizes, sponsored since 1992 by Bookmark, the global content marketing and communications agency, have a reputation for heralding fresh new voices as well as honouring famous names. Shortlisted and commended poems are brought together in the annual Forward Book of Poetry anthologies.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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A celebration of one of the most important British poets of the last fifty years, by contemporary poets and artists.
Simon Barraclough, Dzifa Benson, Nancy Campbell, João Concha, Kirsten Irving, Ricardo Marques, Peter McCarey and Richard Price read Morgan's poems and each responds with a work of their own.
Taking its name from one of his collections, this evening is a 'divan' in the Persian sense of a gathering of people sitting on a virtual sofa sharing their poems and news, not unlike the concept of the 'ceilidh' in Scotland, where Morgan grew up and lived.
Join us on the poetry couch for an unrivalled insight into this remarkable poet and a glimpse of the wealth of contemporary poetry which has grown up in a creative landscape partly created by him.
With thanks to:
<a href="https://edwinmorgantrust.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Edwin Morgan Trust</a>
<a href="https://poetryarchive.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Poetry Archive</a>
<a href="https://www.carcanet.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Carcanet Press</a>
Click <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OE6li9RuDTNwNiSsD-YZ-H6utNQRxSGD/view?usp=sharing" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a> to read the poem’s featured in this event.
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This event took place on: 20 November 2020.
For this in conversation event, novelists Tracy Chevalier, Nikita Lalwani and Stephanie Scott will read extracts from their latest works, followed by a panel discussion led by journalist Yvette Huddleston.
The authors will discuss their books and their own experiences and how they chime with the historical and contemporary themes and figures featured in our current exhibition, Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights. The event finishes with a Q&A session between the panel and the online audience.
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.
As libraries have had to pause public events for now we’ve launched this website to keep bringing you captivating live events for free and showcase the highlights from our events archive. Here we can keep sharing knowledge and encouraging creativity, until we can get together again in person.
More information about the Living Knowledge Network and the British Library can be found here