Over 800 incredible volunteers help us bring weekly Shared Reading groups into communities across the UK. But what is it like, becoming a Reader Volunteer? Sabine shares her story.
This week’s Featured Poem has been chosen in anticipation of the London Penny Readings, which will be taking place at the Southbank Centre this Sunday (12th October) as part of London Literature Festival. Having started last week, the theme for this year’s festival is ‘How the Printed Word Changes the World’, with a particular focus upon the optimism of the human spirit.
At the London Penny Readings, we’ll be hearing some of the greatest literature that has freedom at its core. A significant aspect of all lives, and perhaps taken for granted until the times when struggles are faced, everyone can appreciate the lure and the ‘light’ that freedom provides.
I will not follow you, my bird,
I will not follow you.
I would not breathe a word, my bird,
To bring thee here anew.
I love the free in thee, my bird,
The lure of freedom drew;
The light you fly toward, my bird,
I fly with thee unto.
And there we yet will meet, my bird,
Though far I go from you
Where in the light outpoured, my bird,
Are love and freedom too.
George William Russell
The London Penny Readings, featuring special guest readers Erwin James and Frank Hewteson, are just one penny to attend, but you can register your place before Sunday evening now: http://londonpennyreadings.eventbrite.co.uk/
Our extremely popular public reading event, based on a tradition made famous by Dickens, is coming to the Southbank Centre on Sunday 12th October as part of the London Literature Festival. This year’s festival concentrates on the themes of freedom, justice and democracy, celebrating the optimism of the human spirit and the ability of the arts to transform and change lives, and we will hear some of the greatest classic and contemporary literature that touches upon and celebrates the freedoms and struggles faced in human life.
Joining us for the London Penny Readings are special guest readers including writer, The Guardian columnist and patron of The Reader Organisation Erwin James and Frank Hewetson, one of Greenpeace’s ‘Arctic 30’ activists who was held in prison in Russia for protesting against oil exploration in 2013.
We will also be joined on the day by some of our shared reading group members from our London project, where we currently run a number of groups in a variety of community settings, and for whom literature has played a special role in helping to shape their lives:
“It’s been cathartic and touched things in me that I didn’t expect to be touched. In a very organic way. We are all from somewhere else, very different backgrounds and we’ve found something in common.” – shared reading group member, Southwark
Sticking to Dickensian traditions, entry into the event will cost no more than a penny on the day, but you can register now to guarantee your place for the evening: https://londonpennyreadings.eventbrite.co.uk
Stay tuned to the blog and our other social media channels for more exciting news about the London Penny Readings as we countdown to the date.
Find out more about the London Literature Festival, running from Tuesday 30th September to Monday 13th October, on the Southbank Centre website: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/london-literature-festival