Monthly Archives: April 2013

Museums at Knight!


To celebrate Museums at Night, staff at Wakefield Museum have arranged two great events.

Wakefield Museum and Library, Friday 17 May Come and hear our Knight tell the tale of George and the Dragon as you have never heard it before!
Interactive storytelling and workshops for children aged 3– 12 years old.Fancy Dress encouraged!

The Knight will be running the session twice: 6 – 6:30pm and 7 – 7:30pm – starting in the Children’s Library and followed by a museum trail and craft activity.Booking is essential on 01924 302700 or e-mail

Flatulence and Phlegm: cooking with herbs and salad in seventeenth century England
Wakefield Museum, Friday 17 May 2013
This spring, food historian Dr Annie Gray will deliver a fun and informative talk (with food tastings) at Wakefield Museum, where you will find out more about cooking with herbs and salad in seventeenth century England. This event is free and open to anyone over 18 (starting at 6pm prompt). Booking is essential. See the project website for details of how to book or phone on (0113) 343 1910.

Creative Writing events

Creative Writing workshop, Monday 1st May 11-12 noon
South Elmsall Library
Interested in putting pen to paper? Join our free workshop to get started. Advice on ideas, getting started and styles of writing. All welcome and refreshments served.
Please contact South Elmsall Library to reserve a place on 01977 723220 or

Poetry Reading Workshop,Saturday 18th May 2 – 3pm
Wakefield Library and Museum
Read Right, Read Regional: In this fun, informal workshop we will be reading and discussing poems by writers from New Writing North’s Read Regional campaign and further afield. Whether you’re a participant in the contemporary poetry scene, or haven’t looked at a sonnet since school, come and enjoy some quality reading time with us.

Anna Woodford’s poetry collection Birdhouse (Salt, 2010) won the Crashaw Prize and was included in a Guardian round-up of the best poetry books of the year.
Booking essential. Phone Wakefield Library: 01924 305376 or email:

Writers’ reasons for reading

“Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.”
~ Christopher Morley

The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours. Alan Bennett

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”
Joyce Carol Oates

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.”
~ Edward P. Morgan

“Books are the engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, guardians of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”
Sir Ian McKellen (quoting Barbara W. Tuchman and others) at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
William Styron

In honour of World Book Night. The quotations are some of my favourites from a newspaper article
’10 writers. reasons for reading’ Do you have a quote about reading you like?

Spring Online with Wakefield Libraries

Logo%201-01Sessions to help people access the internet are being held at selected Wakefield district libraries next week.

The taster sessions are being held to celebrate Spring Online 2013, a national award-winning campaign run by Digital Unite in association with Carphone Warehouse.

Spring Online week runs from 22 to 26 April with drop-in sessions being held at:

Pontefract Library, Shoemarket, WF8 1BD

Monday 22 April, 9.30am – 1pm

Wednesday 24 April, 9.30am – 12 noon and 1pm – 3pm

Wakefield One Library, Burton Street, WF1 2DD

Monday 22 April, 1pm – 3.30pm

Wednesday 24 April, 9.30am – 12noon and 1pm-3.30pm

Hemsworth Library, Market Street, WF9 4JY

Thursday 25 April, 10am – 12.30pm

Women’s Prize for Fiction

Womens-Prize-Shortlist-News-Item-2The shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction is out and described as ‘staggeringly strong’ Is anything on the list strong enough to beat Hilary Mantel’s ‘Bring up the bodies’ or can she win the triple crown of Man Booker, the Costa and the Women’s Prize for Fiction?
A.M Homes seems to be emerging as a possible contender. Who do you think should win?

Young, British and promising

Granta list 2013Is it really thirty years since Granta’s first list of 20 most promising young British authors? That list was so well chosen and is a roll call of today’s literary establishment. It introduced writers whose work I still love such as Rose Tremain and Kazuo Ishiguro. 1993 told us about Jeanette Winterson and Alan Hollinghurst, 2003 Sarah Waters and David Mitchell. Now the 2013 list has been published and it’s well worth a look to see who will be on our reading lists over the next ten years.
I want to try Leeds based Sunjeev Sahota and Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy looks interesting. We also have Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country as a reader group set. If you are looking for something new to read, will you be trying out some of these authors?

World Book Night at Wakefield Library and Museum

White Queen In celebration of World Book Night, step back in time for an evening to the Middle Ages.

On April 25, people can receive a free copy of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory from Wakefield Museum 6-6.30pm and also visit the new exhibition ‘Food for all Seasons’ to find out what was on the menu in medieval Wakefield.
Then from 6.30 – 7.30pm in the Library Learning Zone visitors can listen to Helen Cox, author of The Battle of Wakefield Revisited, talk about the ordinary and extraordinary lives of Women in the War of the Roses. Helen will be telling the story of the White Queen and what everyday life was like for women of all ranks in the Middle Ages

Booking is required for this free event, each booking receives a free book. Please contact Wakefield Library on 01924 305376 or email to book your place.

Philippa Gregory’s White Queen is the first of a series that tells the story of the Wars of the Roses through the women caught up in the struggle for the throne and it has been filmed as a 10 part TV series to be shown on BBC1 later this year.

Spring Cleaning

mjYBjGWIt’s time to spring clean the sets of books we supply to readers Groups across Wakefield – retire some of the most well used titles and buy some exciting new books to enjoy. What would you like to see on our list? The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce has already been suggested but what else should we look at? A classic novel or a Richard and Judy choice? The Womens’ Prize for Fiction or science fiction? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Naming a Pig

The lucky winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction will be presented with a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which will be named after their winning title. They will also recieve a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and a set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection which now totals over 80 books.
The pig could be named Heartbreak Hotel (Deborah Moggach), Lightning Rods (Helen DeWitt), Zoo Time (Howard Jacobson), Skios (Michael Frayn) or England’s Lane (Joseph Connolly).
Just the thing to lift the spirits now the evenings are getting lighter and Spring is finally on the way!

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