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Join us to celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, hosted by The Reading Agency in partnership with Specsavers. World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more.
During this special event, you’ll be treated to exclusive readings and hear from special guests about the books that make them smile. World Book Night Ambassador Sandi Toksvig talks live to featuring best-selling authors David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow), Bolu Babalola (Love in Colour), and World Book Night founder and Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng.
The evening’s celebration begins at 18.00 with Nobel prize winner in literature Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with best-selling author Kate Mosse. Details here. Bookers for World Book Night presents: Books to Make you Smile will also be sent a link to watch the earlier event.
World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency and celebrated each year on 23 April, the UNESCO International Day of the Book. Since 2011, organisations and individuals have held events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives. Organisations can volunteer to hand out books from our annual list to people who don’t read for pleasure or own books. Find out more at www.worldbooknight.org.
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This event took place on: 28 October 2020.
‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer.’ – Zora Neale Hurston
Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, Zora Neale Hurston published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles and plays. Today, her work unites readers across the world, yet she died penniless, buried in an unmarked grave.
Black Girl’s Book Club co-founders Natalie Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry – who cite Neale Hurston as the ‘the patron saint of Black women’ – chair a conversation with poets Jackie Kay and Salena Godden about Hurston’s writing life, and how she has become regarded one of the most significant Black woman writers of the 20th century.
Presented in association with the Royal Society of Literature. This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
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: 8 February 2021.
Join writers and co-founders of @OnThisDayShe, Jo Bell, Tania Hershman and Ailsa Holland as they celebrate the release of their new book and some incredible women from history.
@OnThisDayShe was launched on Twitter in January 2018 with one aim: to put women back into history, one day at a time. Women from across the world, across all time periods, from arts and sciences to politics, war, journalism, crime and invention. Featuring a different woman every day, not necessarily on her birthday or the day she died but on a day that was important to her. The day she qualified as the first doctor in her country, say, or she patented her first invention. Now with over 27,000 followers, Jo, Tania and Ailsa release their accompanying book, exploring intriguing topics and issues from wearing trousers to the language of history, the importance of tea, and even public toilets for women. With plenty of incredible facts, we share the stories of some important and influential women from history. Introduced by Isobel Church, the actor who voices the On This Day She audiobook.
This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries. Event hosted in partnership with Warwickshire Libraries and the West Midlands Readers' Network.
Order your copy of 'On This Day She' by clicking <a href="http://hyperurl.co/OTDS" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>
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This event took place on: 7 October 2020.
The murder of George Floyd in the US reverberated around the world. It gave way to an explosion of protest, and a closer examination among historians of the systemic racism in the way the African diaspora is described. Cultural institutions around the world are examining their own legacy within the history of colonialism and imperialism. Join historian David Olusoga in conversation for his personal perspective on how we memorialise, teach and write about racism, and why black British history matters.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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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>