Horatio Clare

Northumberland Libraries celebrate reading campaign with festival of books and films

New Writing North, the literature development agency for the North of England, has announced its list of 10 ‘must-read’ titles by northern authors for 2020. 

The Read Regional promotional campaign runs from March-June 2020, when the ten authors will take part in 70 events at libraries and festivals throughout the North of England, including Northumberland
Read Regional is a celebration of brilliant new books from the North of England, and was founded by New Writing North in 2008. The campaign is funded by Arts Council England and is produced in partnership with Northumberland Libraries and 22 other library authorities. Authors will take part in festivals, readings and workshops in Northumberland.  The programme bulk-buys books for libraries, ensuring the selected titles are well-stocked throughout the county of Northumberland 
Four Read Regional authors: Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Clara Barley, Horatio Clare and  CJ Cooke will be visiting libraries and partner venues in Northumberland throughout the month of March in a celebration of books and film.

First up is a feast of poetry at Morpeth Library on Thursday 5th March when  Hafsah Aneela Bashir will be reading from her acclaimed collection ‘The Celox and the Clot’ Hafsah’s session will be preceded by an ‘Exploring Poetry’ Workshop with well-known Northumberland poet Linda France. Tickets are £4 per session or £6 for both events.

The first Read Regional event in the newly refurbished Alnwick Playhouse and Library will take place on Saturday 14th March. Clara Barley author of The Moss House will talk at 6pm followed by a showing of the new film Little Women.  Clara was inspired to write the novel through her work at Shibden Hall, and was also involved both behind the scenes and on camera with the Gentleman Jack TV series. Tickets £13.55 for both  talk & film are available from Alnwick Playhouse

Book and film enthusiasts are also invited to the Forum Cinema in Hexham on Thursday 19th March at 6pm when award winning author Horatio Clare will discuss Icebreaker his travelogue set aboard an icebreaker in Finland’s chilly waters. This will be followed by a screening of the film Chasing Ice at 8pm which chronicles the story of one man's mission to the Arctic to gather the evidence of the reality of global warming. Tickets, £10 for both talk and film are available from www.forumhexham.com
This event is a partnership between Northumberland Libraries, Forum Cinema and Hexham Book Festival.
The month of Read Regional events will conclude with a chance to meet the author CJ Cooke at Ashington Library on Tuesday 24th March at 6pm. CJ Cooke is known to Northumberland audiences though her participation in the Northern Poetry Library Project and she will be talking about her gripping psychological thriller The Blame Game which follows on from I Know My Name which was inspired by her creative work in mental health.
Tickets £3 are available on www.eventbrite.co.uk 

The full list of Read Regional 2020 titles is:  

 A Witch Come True, James Nicol (Chicken House)

The Moss House, Clara Barley (Bluemoose Books)
Remembered, Yvonne Battle-Felton (Dialogue Books)
The Blame Game, C. J. Cooke (HarperCollins)
A Shadow Intelligence, Oliver Harris (Little, Brown)
The Last Thing She Told Me, Linda Green (Quercus)
Supper Club, Lara Williams (Hamish Hamilton)

Icebreaker, Horatio Clare (Vintage)
The Celox and the Clot, Hafsah Aneela Bashir (Burning Eye Books)
Baldwin's Catholic Geese, Keith Hutson (Bloodaxe Books)

For the selected authors, Read Regional is not only an opportunity to meet readers and talk about their work, but also to celebrate the vitality of libraries as places of inspiration and centres for the whole community.  

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North said: 

“We’re very excited about this year’s list of Read Regional titles, which includes some of the very best literature coming out of the North, from poetry to memoir. Read Regional is for everyone. If you don’t usually attend author events, why not try one for the first time in your local library – you’ll find a warm welcome and the chance to chat to writers in a relaxed setting. If you’re already a regular attender, Read Regional is a great way to discover new books to discuss with other readers and to make the most of the precious resource that is your local public library.” 

Find information about all of the Read Regional 2020 titles and events, plus free reading guides visit www.newwritingnorth.com
Northumberland Libraries are currently consulting on the future shape of the service with residents in the county. To submit your views and ideas go to www.mylibrary.co.uk 
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