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This event took place on: 12 October 2020.
Linton Kwesi Johnson is presented with the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize.
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 or the 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’.
Linton Kwesi Johnson was chosen by this year’s judges; The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; Dialogue Books Publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove, and author Max Porter. The judges said of Johnson: ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson is a poet, reggae icon, academic and campaigner, whose impact on the cultural landscape over the last half century has been colossal and multi-generational. His political ferocity and his tireless scrutiny of history are truly Pinteresque, as is the humour with which he pursues them.’
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, selected by Linton Kwesi Johnson from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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+.
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This event took place on: 1 October 2020.
Live from the Union Chapel, London.
In this special event in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Royal Society for Literature, actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry talks to comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi about writing across forms – from sketch comedy to poetry, independently and in collaboration, written and performed – that has elevated him to the status of national treasure.
Stephen grew up in a house with colossal bookcases filled with classic works of literature, and would use them as medicine cabinets to treat his childhood. He has remarked that writing is a ‘newer technology – only five or six thousand years old’ by which ‘we can change utterance into permanence’, and when once asked for writing advice, he responded: ‘the important thing to do for those who want to liberate their writing is to be able to let go of their self-consciousness, to allow the words to write for them.’
Presented in Partnership with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library. This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
Two leading performance writers talk through the process of writing for stage, screen or page. Inua Ellams, a UK-based poet, playwright and performer, and Kieran Hurley, a writer, performer and theatre maker, are both leaders in their field and share their insights in telling stories across all forms. This event is part of Storytalks, a series of talks from the UK’s storytelling experts programmed as part of Evolve, an imaginative programme of events and artworks within Devon’s Libraries. This event was livestreamed from Exeter Library on 7 November 2019.
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This event took place on: 24 November 2020.
Gloria Steinem has been called the ‘world’s most famous feminist’. As a young New York journalist, her investigations of contraception, abortion and the Playboy Club made her name amid the changing society of the 1960’s and she has has travelled the world ever since to support the voices and lives of women. At this special event she talks to Zeinab Badawi about her life and activism about families, relationships, ageing, work, laughter, politics and revolution.
This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
Polarbear is joined by two of the UK's most exciting and talented graphic novelists, Joff Winterhart (Days of Bagnold Summers, Driving Short Distances) and Katriona Chapman (Follow Me In). Together they discuss their inspiration, and how they are breaking new ground in their use of graphics and storytelling to create dynamic work for this ever popular medium. This event is part of Storytalks, a series of talks from the UK’s storytelling experts programmed as part of Evolve, an imaginative programme of events and artworks within Devon’s Libraries. This event was livestreamed from Exeter Library on 10 October 2019.
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