Inspired by Libraries with Jackie Kay and Abigail Reynolds at Manchester Poetry Library

Inspired by Libraries with Jackie Kay and Abigail Reynolds
Manchester Poetry Library
15th June 2022

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Elliptical Reading
Abigail Reynolds, Elliptical Reading, Adoption Papers, Tokoni, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

Join poet Jackie Kay CBE and Artist Abigail Reynolds for an intimate in conversation on the importance of libraries in their work and art, hosted by Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University.

During British Art Show 9, Abigail Reynolds is developing Elliptical Reading, a regular reading hour at local libraries in each city of the BAS9 tour. Readers meet to share short sections from a favourite book, creating between them an unruly text of word collage, which builds over time. The latest of these groups is currently based in Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University.

One of the books chosen was Jackie Kay’s Adoption Papers, and the rebound copy of the book is currently in the poetry library. During the choosing of these books Jackie’s work was chosen four times by participants who expressed a strong connection to her work.

Join these two wonderful artists or this conversation, as they discuss how libraries have inspired them throughout their lives, and why they feel strongly about access to libraries for everyone.

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She is the author of—among other books—The Adoption Papers, which won the Forward Prize, Red Dust Road, winner of the Scottish Book of the Year Award, Trumpet, and the Costa-shortlisted Fiere. She was the third Makar, or National Poet for Scotland (2016-2021), a former Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University

Abigail Reynolds’ work embraces sculpture, collage, moving image and performance. Much of her art is inspired by her deep love of books and libraries. She sees libraries as ‘egalitarian, tolerant, safe spaces teeming with different, conflicting ideas’ where diverse communities overlap. Incensed by their lack of funding, she has fought to defend public libraries in this country.

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