What’s on in York: An Evening With Ali Smith

Nov _23 Ali Smith 2015 By Sarah Wood

York Explore Library :

Thu 23 Nov :

6.30pm – 8.00pm :


Penguin and Waterstones present award-winning author, Ali Smith, who will be discussing her new novel, Winter. The follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.

Ali has previously been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Folio Prize and the Orange Prize, and has been the winner of the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award.

Waterstones logoBook at Waterstones York, by phone (01904) 620784.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: A Shadow in My Life – A TB Sanatorium memoir

Nov _18A Memoir

York Explore Library

Sat 18 Nov

2.30pm – 4.30pm


Rita Jerram enjoyed a successful launch at Explore in 2015 for her book retelling her Grandmother’s memoirs about the 1880s Canadian prairie. A Shadow in My Life is her own story: In 1953-4, as a young teenager, Rita spent 18 months in a TB sanatorium. Her book is rare: only a handful of memoirs exist about life in a sanatorium. Rita also writes with humour and love about the 14 women and girls she bonded with.

From the Grandma’s Prairie Journals launch:

“Marvellous reading by Rita – so moving. Beautifully crafted stories from source material! Great to see you showcasing local writers who clearly have great talent.”
Sue Birtwistle

“I came with my friend’s mother who has relatives in Canada. We’ve both read other books about prairie settlers. We enjoyed the buzz and readings – quite nice to have 3 different readers. Thank you.”
Lyndon Askew

“Great readings with animated readers. Opportunity to purchase books. PLEASE MAY WE HAVE MORE OF THE SAME.”

This is a free event, but booking is required and tea/coffee are available for purchase.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Finding the Words with poets Charlotte Eichler, Sally Goldsmith and John Whale

Finding The Words

York Explore Library

Thu 16 Nov

6.45pm – 8.00pm

£3 (or £2 with a York Card)

Finding the Words is a regular poetry evening every month at York Explore Library. Each evening brings together three poets and we aim to include both published writers and those working towards a collection. We’ll have a bar available and readings last around an hour. The evening is also a chance to share and chat, so please feel free to bring any news or information about poetry local, regional or national.

Charlotte Eichler grew up in Hertfordshire and now lives near Leeds. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Agenda, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto, and The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts. She was recently awarded a year’s mentoring with Vahni Capildeo by Poetry London magazine, and her first pamphlet will be published by Valley Press in 2018.

Sally Goldsmith As well as a poet Sally is a songwriter, historian, utopian, environmentalist and an amateur naturalist. She’s also written scripts in verse, had songs and poems inside dramas on Radio 4 and a musical feature – about the Izal medicated toilet roll. She’s won two Sony Radio awards. Her first publication was Singer which was one of the winners in the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition judged by Michael Longley. In 2013 Smith/Doorstop published her first full length collection, Are We There Yet? She lives on the edge of Sheffield near the Peak District.

Twitter: @salthepoet

Are We There Yet? poetry collection published by Smith/Doorstop and available from:

John Whale was born in Liverpool and is a co-editor of the international journal Stand. He has published two collections under the Northern House imprint with Carcanet, Waterloo Teeth (2010) and Frieze (2013). The former was shortlisted for the Forward Prize best first collection. He is currently working on a third volume which, once again, explores the connections between history, the body, and the natural world.



In person at any Explore York Library.

By phone: (01904) 552828

Email: york@exploreyork.org.uk


Consultation starts on future of York’s libraries

 A few days after the York Council endorsed a Liberal Democrat motion aimed at securing existing library services in York, the authority has started a 14-week consultation with residents about library services in the city.

The LibDem motion was tabled at a Council meeting amidst fears that the Tory leadership wanted to impose budget cuts which would lead to library closures.  Tories are also apparently looking to change the Library provider in the city from the current (very successful) Trust to a different contractor.

In 2019 the council is due to enter into a new contract for library services and wants to hear from residents about their future needs to help inform the contract.

A media release from the Council says, “York’s libraries are very successful. The council’s provider, Explore York, has introduced many new services, visitor numbers and book issues are good and the service offers excellent value for money. Library users are very satisfied with the current service, particularly valuing libraries as spaces for the community to come together, where everybody is welcome.

Nonetheless, the council recognises that it cannot stand still, and wants to build on Explore’s success to ensure that the service continues to meet changing needs and expectations in the years ahead.

The council recognises that users want to see improvement in the fabric of the library buildings. This reflects the fact that many of the buildings are in poor condition, needing around £3m spending on them in the coming years. The consultation should help target the council’s investment to best effect.

The council’s vision is to have libraries as centres of learning and opportunity for all. This would see state-of-the-art learning spaces stocked with a broad range of materials that promote reading and literacy and support people with the information they need. Flexible spaces would support formal and informal learning including a range of learning programmes, complemented by the latest digital technologies with free, online access.

Acomb Explore Library

The council’s online survey is seeking feedback on the proposed vision and the range of library buildings to meet residents’ needs. In addition, the council wants to understand future needs, gauge volunteer capacity and ask whether or not people want to see other services co-located in libraries”.

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “It is important that we really understand what residents would like to see for the future of their library services and whether our vision for the service and the buildings is on the right lines. I would urge everyone to take this chance to let us know their views.

“To understand what residents would like to see for the future of their library services and whether our vision for the service and the buildings is on the right lines, please complete the survey before Wednesday 14 February 2018 at www.york.gov.uk/consultations. Staff at any library or West Offices will be happy to help.”

The motion carried by the Council against Tory opposition said,

What’s on in York: Playback in association with Random Acts

York Explore Library

Wed 8 Nov – Sun 19 Nov

Library opening times


PlaybackPlayback brings together more than 200 remarkable short films by young artist filmmakers in one exhibition, currently touring nationwide.

Don’t miss it in York as part of Aesthetica Film Festival.

For more information or to see Library opening times please visit our website www.exploreyork.org.uk.

What’s on in York: Creative Writing – We are the Stuff…

Nov _18Creative Writing

York Explore Library

Sat 18 Nov

10.00am – 1.00pm


Your best writing material is within you – learn how to release it!

This workshop will focus on helping you draw on personal experience and memory to bring to light the honest, authentic material that can evolve into some of the most powerful writing. One of the strengths of this workshop is that it is personal, and sometimes private – you won’t be invited to share responses unless you feel confident.

Ali Cargill is a published author with Masters Degree in Creative Writing (Distinction). She is also an experienced A Level English teacher – so you’ll be in good hands.

Suitable for anyone aged 19+. Aimed at any level of experience.

Please bring paper and pen. As part of this workshop you may be invited to share in discussions where, as a group, we explore writing technique in extracts from published texts. Where copyright allows, your tutor will provide copies of these.

This workshop will be held in The Brierley Room.

Book online by clicking here or call us on (01904) 552806

What’s on in York: A nun’s story

Nov _7Nun

York Explore Library :

Tue 7 Nov :

6.15pm – 7.45pm :

£6, or £5 with a YorkCard

Sister Agatha Leach, one of the most well-known and much loved members of the Bar Convent community in York, has collaborated with author Richard Newman to tell her life story. It will come as no surprise to those who have met her that Sister Agatha’s life is quite as unforgettable as she is.

Born as Shirley Leach, raised in a 23 bedroom mansion in the North Downs countryside and once presented to the Royal Court of King George VI as an eligible debutante, Sister Agatha left behind her life of luxury to answer the calling of God. A Nun's Story

Her remarkable tale is told in ‘A Nun’s Story’, published by John Blake and now available in paperback (https://johnblakebooks.com/a-nun-039-s-story-pb.html). The book details Agatha’s astonishing life, including her heart-breaking decision to separate from the fiance she loved, and the miraculous meeting on a train that rescued the Bar Convent from the brink of financial disaster.

After she relates parts of her amazing life, she will be available to sign copies of ‘A Nun’s Story.’

  To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York; My Minster – make a mural at Dringhouses Library

Nov _3Samuel Parsons Map

Dringhouses Library :

Fri 3 Nov :

3.00pm – 5.00pm :

£2 per child/£5 family ticket

Artist Anna Harding will help you make a mural of the wonderful York Minster, to help decorate Dringhouses Library. Make the Minster, and then make a picture of yourself to go in the mural! Sponsored by York Evening Decorative and Fine Art Society (YEDFAS).

Booking advisable to avoid disappointment.

This event is aimed at 4-12 year old.

For further information please call Dringhouses Library on (01904) 552674 or email dringhouses@exploreyork.org.uk.

What’s on in York: “Waiting for Sogmog” at Clifton Library

Noc _2Sogmog

Clifton Explore Library

Thu 2 Nov

10.00am – 12.00pm


Come and meet children’s author Danny Crow who will be doing a reading from his latest book “Waiting for Sogmog”.

There will be a chance to talk to Danny and ask questions about his book.

Lots of Cat based crafts and activities.


For ages 4 – 10 year old.

For more information please call Clifton Explore Library on (01904) 552662 or email clifton@exploreyork.org.uk.