Friday, 6 July 2018

Reading for Pleasure: Diverse Voices

Yesterday I attended the Guardian and British Library Reading for Pleasure: Diverse Voices conference.  The day was crammed full of interesting and inspirational speakers, both authors and performers, English practitioners, literacy consultants and an award-winning school Librarian!

The conference opened with the wonderful author, Patrice Lawrence, whose YA books, Orange Boy and Indigo Donut, we have in the War Memorial Library and are a must read!  Her talk was full of warmth and wit, with insights about growing up with a Caribbean Mother and Italian step-father, using poetry to articulate her feelings as a teenager and how she went from a being a compulsive reader to a writer.

Performance Poet John Agard was another highlight.  Engaging and animated, he performed a selection of his poems and stressed the importance of the oral tradition of storytelling and how the use of rhythm and music in recitation helps with memory.

In the afternoon, the conference moved to the British Library and included a visit to their Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land exhibition with a brief introductory talk by one of the excellent British Library education team responsible for school sessions.  The exhibition contains some fascinating videos, newsreels, photographs and artefacts, including Andrea Levy’s notes and research material for her novel Small Island, a copy of which is available to borrow from the War Memorial Library. It is well worth a visit!

I am looking forward to sharing all the brilliant ideas I picked up from the conference with the Librarians, Ms Roberts and Mrs Bhandari, and our English Colleagues.

Mrs Nolan
Assistant Librarian

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