Rain provides typical Yorkshire backdrop to first (Re)Writing Yorkshire event
Dr Lucy Burnett, poet and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett, chaired the event on 7 October which saw Tara and Helen read from their back catalogues and discuss whether, and how, Yorkshire influences their writing, and where they see poetry going in the next 10 years.
In 2014, Tara and Helen were both identified by the Poetry Book Society, a high-profile judging panel led by Sir Ian McMillan, as two of a 20-strong cohort of writers expected to dominate the next decade.
Dr Rachel Connor, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Humanities and organiser of the event, said: “For our first event, ‘Next Generation Yorkshire Poets’, we were thrilled to have a packed house – made up of members of the public, writers and both staff and students from Leeds Beckett and beyond – to hear Tara and Helen read from their work and talk about the influence of landscape and place. It was an atmospheric setting; with the book-lined shelves of the Leeds Library providing a stunning backdrop and the rain hammering on the glass roof of the atrium – quintessentially Yorkshire!”
The trilogy of seminars, to be held at the Leeds Library, are free and open to the public. The next lecture ‘Mapping Leeds’s fictional landscape with A J Kirby, Richard Smyth and Dr Rachel Connor’ will take place on 17 November at 6.30pm.
In this event, led by Dr Connor, A J (Andrew) Kirby and Richard Smyth (both selected in 2013 as amongst the top 20 writers in Leeds under 40) will explore the literary map of Leeds and its region – with a particular focus on grassroots writing. Spotlighting selected extracts from their own fiction, they will consider what constitutes a ‘Leeds’ or a ‘Yorkshire’ writer.
Dr Connor added: “We established the (Re)Writing Yorkshire series because there’s a real need for a live event that connects Leeds Beckett with the wider reading and writing community in Leeds and beyond - collaborating with the Library, which shares our democratic approach to reading and literature, also cements our accessibility in the heart of the city. The other reason for setting up the events is that we’re fascinated by representations of Yorkshire in the 21st century across the creative and critical domain and we wanted to be able to share our passion with like-minded people.”