What’s on in York: Poetry for the Newly Single 40 Something – A Poetry Reading and Writing Workshop

May _22 Maria Stephenson Poetry

York Explore Library :

Tue 22 May :

5.30pm – 7.45pm :


Join author, poet and creative writing teacher Maria Stephenson for a poetry workshop where you can explore the benefits of cathartic writing.

Our poetry is often written for ourselves and will never see the light of day but sometimes, we realise that as well as helping ourselves, our words can move and inspire others.  This is the essence of Maria’s collection ‘Poetry for the Newly Single 40 Something’ (Stairwell Books) which chronicles the escape from an abusive marriage towards living again, also shining a light onto on-line dating experiences.  She will read from her collection and talk about the path to publication during the creative writing workshop included in the event.

Author’s Biography:

I am a creative writing teacher and a mother of two based in the lovely market town of Otley near Leeds.  Over the last few years, life has taken the wonderful turn of my being able to make a living as a writer and teacher of writing.  From a young age, my dream has been to write poems and stories that will help and move my readers and I’m delighted that this dream is becoming more and more of a reality.

My debut solo poetry collection has now come out and as well as working to promote it, I am also working on the final edit of my crime novel, ‘The Man Behind Closed Doors’ which was recently shortlisted for the international Luke Bitmead prize, in association with Legend Press,   I’m really looking forward to unleashing this on the world too.

If anyone was to ask me how it is possible to achieve success as a writer I would say, keep going, keep writing, keep believing in your voice.  Polish your work until it shines and never give up.  We can all achieve our dreams.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Seeing Happiness: How To Change Mental Health To Happiness Health

May _19 Seeing Happiness

York Explore Library :

Mon 21st May :

6.30pm – 7.30pm :


Feeling stressed, anxious and just simply not as happy as you would like?

Have you been made redundant, broken up from a relationship, lost your business or frankly, just lost your way in life and would like to learn to dream again? Perhaps you would like to gain more clarity and certainty that things will change for the better.

Janet Jones, author of Happiness Millionaire: Positive Images for a R.I.C.H and Powerful Life is a Happiness Expert. On the 19 May, she will share practical advice and scientific evidence about how to use the visual part of your brain to kickstart a new chapter in your life.

Find out more about Janet on


What’s on in York: The Ebor Singers with Songs of Remembrance at York Minster

 19 May 18


From £5.00


Couperin: Troisieme Lecon de mecredi saint

Charpentier: Messe de Morts

Purcell: Funeral Sentences

Expressive works by seventeenth and eighteenth century composers are the focus of this concert. To celebrate the 350th anniversary of Francois Couperin’s birth, we include the third of his Lecons de Tenebres, which entertained and moved when they were first heard in Holy Week 1714, with the musical language matching the poignancy of the text and the drama of the liturgy.

Both written in the 1670s, Charpentier’s Messe de Morts (commemorating various obsequies for his patrons the Guise family) and Purcell’s Funeral Sentences (possibly written following the death of his teacher Matthew Locke in 1677), demonstrate the highly expressive influence of Italian music.

Tickets available here or on the night.

For more information please call 01904 557200.

Future of York Libraries

The York Council is taking the next steps in a review of the role, function and management of its Library service. The Libraries have been run by an independent social interest company since 2012.  The company’s contract is coming up for renewal.

The Council report looks at what more residents might expect to get from the Library service over the next decade.

The comprehensive report makes it clear that the York Library service is one of the most successful – judged against a range of criteria – in the country.

A “needs assessment” seeks to establish what changes need to be made.  It ranks highly the need to further establish libraries as the “hub” of resilient communities. They would be a focal point for the coordination of local public services and could address issues with inclusion. Learning and skills would be a key objective as would access to health and other advice. They have a role to play in promoting culture.

The 16 existing libraries are generally viewed highly by users. York has more libraries per head of population than most comparable local authorities.

Despite the national trend of library visits declining slightly over time, Explore Libraries footfall has been holding up well, thanks in large part to the reading cafés which have been opened. Compared to other English unitary authorities, Explores performance is upper quartile.

Explore’s footfall in 17/18 across all branches was 1,014,173.

A public consultation exercise revealed that user’s top priorities for the different types of library, the top answers were the same for all libraries: Borrowing books, reading and studying space, local information, events, computers. There was just one exception which was that archives and local history was also a priority for York Explore.

Non-users indicated that the top three things that would encourage them to come to a library in the future was: a reading café on site, better information about services, and more events and activities.

The report talks obliquely about shared buildings. It stops short of proposing he closure of any libraries although some Councillors privately say this is inevitable (and has happened elsewhere).  Unless and until a properly costed and resourced business plan ins produced then the “vision” will not have a future. The devil will be in the detail of any tender document that may be issued.

But the plan could deliver the much needed, and long outstanding, expansion of the Acomb Library. In turn, that could deliver a “one stop shop” public service office – incorporating Housing, Police and health teams.

A useful benefit for the Acomb side of the City.

Pen pictures of each library can be accessed via these links

What’s on in York: Dyslexia should not stop an author

May _16 Simone Young Joint

York Explore Library :

Wed 16 May :

6.30pm – 7.30pm :


“Do not allow people to tell you that you cannot do something, no one. They did that to me and I proved them all wrong , you’ll never be an author, well I did and so much more. Disability shouldn’t stop you, whether it be physical, a learning difficulty or mental health, there are people who have done it and you can too.”

Join local author Simone Young as she discusses the path she took to become the author she always wanted to be!

I am a graduate from the University Of Central Lancashire, UK, with a Bachelors degree in Forensic Science and Criminology who has always enjoyed the more gory side of life.  I started writing as soon as I was able to string a sentence together, starting with changing fairy tales, to fan fiction and after writing academic papers at university I started with my own novels. My first major release was Shattered Souls on March 1st 2014 and I now have six books on sale, one of which was released last month, follow me everywhere and get to know me a little more

Find out more about Simone and her books on



Good Reads



To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Alison Weir presents Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen

May _10Alison WeirExplore York Library :

Thu 10 May :

6.00pm – 7.30pm :


Join us as we welcome Alison Weir who will talk about her latest novel, a finely detailed and enthralling portrait of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third queen.

Acclaimed, bestselling historian Alison Weir draws on new research for her captivating novel, which paints a compelling portrait of Jane and casts fresh light on both traditional and modern perceptions of her. Jane was driven by the strength of her faith and a belief that she might do some good in a wicked world.

Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King. She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin. This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne – in doing so can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?

History tells us how she died.

This spellbinding novel explores the life she lived.

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published eighteen history books, including Elizabeth the QueenEleanor of AquitaineThe Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and seven historical novels. Her latest biography is Queens of the Conquest, and her latest novel is Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, the second in her Six Tudor Queens series. Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen will be published in May 2018.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Researching Your First World War ancestors

May _10Find

Acomb Explore Library :

Thu 10 May :

6.00pm – 7.30pm :


Have you always wanted to research your First World War ancestors but are not sure where to start? Why not join our Archivist Laura Yeoman as she talks you through some of the sources you can use, both onsite at York Explore and online. Following the talk there will also be an opportunity to get your questions answered.

For more information call the library on (01904) 552651 or acomb@exploreyork.org.uk.

What’s on in York: Muse Hack

Muse Hack

York Explore Library :

Mon 7 May – Mon 2 Jul :

5.30pm – 7.30pm :


Explore, create, tinker and design. Get stuck into all manner of digital maker tools and tech and learn some coding along the way.

Guided by professional artists & digital makers, come along and create amazing arts technology of the future.

For ages 10 – 14 years.

For more information contact York Library on (01904) 552828 or york@exploreyork.org.uk.

What’s on in York: 70 Years of Giving Art

May _470 YearsYork Art Gallery :

Fri 4 May – Sun 2 Sep :

10.00am – 5.00pm :

Admission charge

The Friends of York Art Gallery (FOYAG) will mark their 70th anniversary with an exhibition of some favourite works this spring.

Since it was founded in 1948, the charity has pledged more than £600,000 which has aided the purchase of over 150 works for the gallery’s collections, including pieces by Albert Moore, David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth and Grayson Perry.

To celebrate their 70th year, members of the Friends have chosen some favourite works from the gallery’s collections which have been acquired or restored thanks to their financial support.

Admission charges:

YMT Card Holder                                        FREE
Adult (with 10% Gift Aid Donation)               £7.50
Adult (without donation)                               £6.81
Child (16 and under)                                    FREE with a paying adult
Access Day Ticket                                       £4.00

For more information click here.