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ListingsDON’T MISSEast MidlandsGetting a gigDead Women Poets SocietyWHAT IS IT? Dead Women Poets is an evening at which invited women poets perform their own work alongside poems by dead women poets they admire or who have inspired them. The invited poets’ sets are followed by an open mic session on the same pattern: a poem by a living poet, followed by that of a dead woman one.It’s the brainchild of four Durham University students – Jasmine Simms, Sarah Fletcher, Helen Bowell and Katie Byford, alumnaeof the Writing Squad and Foyles Young Poets of the Year scheme – who wanted to ‘resurrect’ (their term) the women’s poetry canon and expand it beyond the usual suspects, such as Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath. The first of the series was a sold-out event at the Durham Book festival and involved feminist art and a shrine to the dead poets, complete with photographs and candles. The Durham event was designed around the idea of a séance, with people seated in a circle – but each event is different. Thus far there have been events in Durham, Bradford, Sheffield, and two in London – with a third planned for World Refugee Week in June.IS IT FOR YOU? They are trying to raise funding for a tour of the North, and for more events in London, so if you live in either place, do get in touch. They are especially interested in hearing from BAME and LGBT women poets, and those with disabilities. Invited poets need to have a publication record or performing experience, but anyone is welcome to take part in the open mic. They are also open to approaches from women interpreting the brief through songwriting or a visual art form – and from women wanting to perform translations of dead women’s poetry.IDEAL APPROACH If you want to be one of the invited performers, contact the founders with a brief description of your background and experience, plus the name of the dead woman poet you want to champion – and why. Email deadwomenpoets@gmail.com (dwpssite. wordpress.com)DEBBIE TAYLORLondonEVENTS AND COURSES highlightsOur pick of what’s happening in your local region. Don’t forget to check with the venue as details are subject to change.EnglandARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND 0845 300 6200 www.artscouncil.org.ukArts Council England’s national office is now in Manchester; there are also eight regional offices: in Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cambridge, Bristol, London and Brighton. If you are looking for funding, contact the centralised Customer Services team in Manchester in the first instance. They are trained to advise on all art forms and will explain who to contact in your area.For additional events listings,sign up for the newsletter from Writers’ Centre Norwich at www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk, and/or consult East Life.Silence by Nicola Werenowskawelcomes participants to share stories and memories for a performance that explores the effects of war and displacement through the lens of the UK post-war Polish community. Part of Essex Book Festival’s programme of events. Harlow Library, Cross Street, Harlow. 18 March, 1-2pm. Free.www.essexbookfestival.org.ukUEA Live: In Memory of Rebecca McManus celebrates the life and work of McManus, a UEA student killed in a traffic accident just before graduation in 2014. The event marks the publication of a collection of her work by Unthank Books. Writers’ Centre Norwich, Dragon Hall. 23 March, 7pm. Free. www.writerscentrenorwich.org.ukThe Publishing Day School at Writers’ Centre Norwich explores the contemporary publishing landscape and considers routes to publication. Writers’ Centre Norwich, Dragon Hall. 8 April, 10am-4pm. £60 (£55). www.writerscentrenorwich.org.ukCambridge Literary Festival gives a platform to some of the most intriguing and provocative minds of our age. Providing a space for debate, diversity, dissonance and desires. Programme TBA. Venues across Cambridge. 18-23 April. www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.comFelixstowe Book Festival, now in its fifth year, offers an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction authors and writing workshops. Be inspired, challenged and entertained. Louis de Bernières, Esther Freud, Maggi Hambling, Stella Rimmington, Tracy Chevalier, Terry Waite, A L Kennedy and more. 1-2 July 2017. www.felixstowebookfestival.co.ukFor additional events listings, sign up for the newsletter from Writing East Midlands.Writing for Children: Breathing Life into Your Story is a Wolves & Apples masterclass from Mantle Arts which explores age bands, manuscript length and commercial viability, along with self-editing, plotting, character and voice. Burton Room, Phoenix Square, 4 Midland Street, Leicester. 18 March, 10am-5pm. £30. www.red-lighthouse.org.ukPrepping My Novel for Publication is a half-day workshop focusing on self-editing, voice and preparation for approaching agents and publishers. Alvaston Library, 1252 London Road, Derby. 22 April, 9.30am-12.30pm. £25 (£20). www. writingschooleastmidlands.co.ukMslexia’s very own Debbie Taylorwill be taking part in ‘Feminist publishing – then, now and inthe future’, presented by Five Leaves Bookshop. Other speakers include creative writing professor and ex-Spare Rib Zoe Fairbairns and Ailah Ahmed, commissioning editor at Virago Press. NottinghamMechanics Institute, Nottingham. 22 April, 2-5pm. £5 (£4). www.fiveleavesbookshop.co.ukTell Your Own Story is a six-week course with Maxine Linnell looking at examples of memoir, some of its issues, and using prompts, exercises and feedback to develop memoir writing skills. LCB Depot, 31 Rutland St, Leicester. 2 May – 13 June, Tuesdays 10am-12pm. £108 (£96). www.writingschooleastmidlands. co.ukWriting Your Novel enters its third term, with this five-week course focused on editing. Waterstones Nottingham. 6 May – 3 June, Saturdays 1-3pm. £90 (£80). www. writingschooleastmidlands.co.ukDerby Book Festival, now in its third year, celebrates the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests, with a programme featuring great writers, poets, historians, politicians, illustrators, storytellers and musicians. Venues around Derby. 9-17 June. www.derbybookfestival.co.ukFor more events listings, sign up for the newsletter from Spread the Word at www.spreadtheword. org.uk. Poets might also likeEastto subscribe to Poetry London Newsletter for £25 via www.poetrylondon.co.uk Also see literature listings in Time Out.Attack of the Fifty-Foot Womenbrings together Sandi Toksvig and author Catherine Mayer, co-founders of the Women’s Equality Party,to discuss Mayer’s new book and the international state of gender equality. Part of the Women of the World Festival (7-12 Mar). Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. 7 March, 7pm. £12 (£6). www.southbankcentre.co.ukRebels in the Archives celebrates International Women’s Day witha discussion on the power and potential of archiving feminist movements by Jill Liddington, Abi Morgan, Heidi Safia Mirza and Deborah Withers, and chaired by Margaretta Jolly. Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London. 8 March, 7-8.45pm. £8 (£5). www.bl.ukAfternoon Poems: Women and War is an afternoon of poetrythat goes beyond ‘keep calmand carry on’ to the personal and psychological battles of workers, wives, mothers, suffragettes and objectors. Booking recommended. Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead. 12 March, 2-3pm. Free. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/keatsmslexia Mar/Apr/May 2017 73DEAD WOMEN POETS SOCIETY LOGO BY LILY ARNOLDINSIGHT


































































































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