TEDx is a programme of local self-organised events created by TED in order to make sure that people everywhere can experience ‘ideas worth spreading’ from the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers. TEDXObserver is taking place in Sadler’s Well’s, London, this coming Saturday 10th March, but the talks will be simulcast to a number of regional events which will also feature exclusive talks of their own.
The Bluecoat is holding an artists’ book fair this coming Saturday, 19th November.
Original and outstanding artworks purposely designed in book form in an astonishing variety of shapes and styles will be on display and available to buy. The beautiful designs are often published directly by the artists, with works from a range of makers and artists including local artist Elizabeth Willow, staff and students from Wirral Met and Cafè Royale Books, whose publications are held in collections belonging to the Tate, V&A, MoMA and the Japan Museum of 21st Century Art. If you’re looking for a unique and unusual Christmas gift idea for a literature or art lover, you couldn’t ask for anything better.
For an Saturday afternoon out, you may also want to combine your visit to browse this extraordinary collection of bookish art with a visit to the exhibition of Matisse’s beautiful illustrated books currently showing at the Walker Art Gallery.
The artists’ book fair is on from 11am to 5pm and is free.
The first, Anatomy of a Disappearance: Hisham Matar in conversation with Suzi Feay will take place on Wednesday 6th July from 7 pm – 8.30 pm. Matar, a Libyan author whose first novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the 2006 Booker Prize, will discuss his new novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, life and writing with fiction reviewer Suzi Feay. His latest novel is based on the real-life story of his father, an opposition politician who disappeared during the Gaddaffi regime, and asks what happens to those left behind.
On Saturday 9th July (3 pm – 4.30 pm), join Samuel Shimon in conversation with Eckhard Thiemannto mark this year’s new English translation of Shimon’s acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Iraqi in Paris. Assyrian Iraqi author Shimon will discuss his fascinating life and work with LAAF Guest Curator, Eckhard Thiemann.
Tickets for both events cost £3/£2 for concessions, and can be booked at www.thebluecoat.org.uk or on 0151 702 5324.
The 2011 winner of one of Britain’s most prestigious literary awards, the Orange Prize for Fiction, will be announced on Wednesday 8th June at a glittering ceremony in London. On the same night, a special Liverpool Readers’ Night centred on the prize takes place at The Bluecoat.
Tickets for the Liverpool Readers’ Night cost £3/2 and can be booked from The Bluecoat box office on 0151 702 5324 or through the Bluecoat’s website. They are also available from Peter Wallace, Reader Development Officer, Liverpool Libraries who can be reached via e-mail: Peter.Wallace@liverpool.gov.uk .
It was a really fantastic day, and lots of people turned up to read The Unforgotten Coat aloud in the foyer of The Bluecoat (which had been spectacularly decorated in a Mongolian style, complete with plenty of unforgotten coats!). We had a huge crowd in the morning, with a few schools taking part and lots of interested passers-by stopping to read along with us:
Thanks to everyone who came down to support us on the day – especially to those who read aloud – we all had a brilliant time!
Today, TRO staff and volunteers , plus some reading group members, are taking part in ‘Bed in at the Bluecoat’. Marking the anniversaries of Lennon’s birthday and assassination, the Bluecoat is recreating John and Yoko’s famous 1969 peace protest. Each day a bed in their Hub will host a new action by performers, artists and others. It’s our turn today and we’ll be ‘Reading in Bed’ between 11am – 3pm, for 15 minutes each. Come on down and listen to us reading a selection of poetry and short stories, some of which will be from Angela Macmillan’s wonderful collection, A Little, Aloud.
FOR ALL LOVERS OF LITERATURE – the 3rd annual Chapter & Verse Literature festival at the Bluecoat starts today Wednesday 13 October and continues til Sunday 17 October with a wonderful programme of readings, talks, films, performances, workshops and much more.
Last few days to see images by Dave McKean from The Savage at the Bluecoat (School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX) until 1st November 2009.
This exhibition features a selection of original artwork from this year’s Liverpool Reads book The Savage including the original front cover from the hard back edition which is both intriguing and chilling.
Dave McKean has illustrated several award-winning comics including Arkham Asylum with author/playwright Grant Morrison, Signal to Noise and Mr.Punch with author Neil Gaiman. He has written as well as illustrated two books (Cages and Pictures That Tick) released four different collections of his photography (Black and White Lies, Option:Click, The Particle Tarot: The Major Arcana and The Particle Tarot: The Minor Arcana) and has created hundreds of comic and book covers including the hugely popular Sandman series.
Multi-talented, Dave has created ad campaigns and over 150 CD packages for Michael Nyman, Tori Amos, Counting Crows and Alice Cooper amongst others. He has worked on a variety of book and film projects with John Cale, The Rolling Stones, Milcho Manchevski, Stephen King, Lars Von Trier and Iain Sinclair. He is currently directing and designing films including the recent Jim Henson Studios produced Mirrormask and character design on the Harry Potter movie franchise. He also jointly oversees the running of the jazz record label Feral.
The Bluecoat is delighted to host an exhibition featuring a selection of original artwork by Dave McKean from The Savage. The exhibition starts outside the bar (press 2 in the lift) and continues on the floor above. It is open from 10.00am until 10.00pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10.00am until 6.00pm on Sundays and Mondays.
Written by Vanessa Chellembron, audience member at the Bluecoat
Brian Keenan is best known for being taken hostage in Beirut in 1985, a strange thing to be know for, but nonetheless, the reason we know him – this and An Evil Cradling, his account of the time taken from him.
An Evil Cradling is not just an account of being held hostage, it is a profoundly moving book, a story of one man’s emotional journey through the turbulence; the harshness and depravity is there, but along with it is a wondrous humour and vitality. It is a story of the intense connection with his fellow captive John McCarthy, they shared a hilarity and love which fed their spirits and spurred them on in spite of the worst imaginable circumstances.
It is an extraordinary account of humanity, humility and humour, a remarkable book which has helped me in my life. Quite frankly Brian Keenan is one of my heroes, so when I heard he was doing a reading at the Bluecoat (Friday 16th Oct), I knew I had to go.
He read from his new book I’ll Tell Me Ma, not so much an autobiography as a collection of memories from his childhood. Memories that for him led on to stranger and long-forgotten memories, thoughts of a young boy now interpreted by an adult mind, connections made as skeletons gently revealed their secrets.
Brian Keenan was rather sweetly nervous at the beginning, saying that the audience were more threatening than a bunch of Arab terrorists(!), but relaxed as he read to us, then happily answered questions from Jane Davis and the audience.
He is a charming man and spoke from his heart, he said that his emotions are always close to the surface, he lives through them – a lesson to us all.
He did a book signing after the event, and took time for everyone. He very kindly agreed when my friend asked if I could have my photo taken with him (I was too in awe of him to ask!), and seemed delighted to show his human and rather mischievous side.
Whoever said that you should never meet your heroes was wrong. It was an honour to meet Brian Keenan, he is a truly lovely man.
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Jane Davis, Director of The Reader Organisation, hosted this event with Brian Keenan and she says this of her experience:
Anyone who has read An Evil Cradling will know that Brian Keenan has written one of the most extraordinary books of the twentieth century, giving voice to key experiences and fears of our time. The book is a moving testament to a courage and resilience which seems to arise from but also be greater than the individual.
I’ll Tell Me Ma, his new memoir (not at all miserable) is an account, to use an old fashioned phrase, of the development of a soul, the soul that became the man who survived the brutal captivity described in the first book. The book is a series of vivid memories and meditations, a rather Wordsworthian account of a lonely and deeply felt childhood.
Reading and rereading the books was my prep for the Chapter and Verse event at Bluecoat last week, and they helped, but nothing had prepared me for the depth of feeling, wit, gentleness and deeply individual creature that is Brian Keenan. I felt I was meeting someone who utterly become himself, crystallised, absolute. It was a great pleasure and an experience that will stay with me, and I think many members of the audience, for a long time.