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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Centre for Poetry and Poetics

Talk and reading to mark the opening of Lumiere.

14th November 2019, 17:00 to 18:30, Old Library, Grey College, Kate Clanchy

Celebrate the launch of Lumiere 2019 in this free event with poet and teacher, Kate Clanchy.

All welcome. Booking not required but please mark yourself attending on the Facebook event and help to spread the word!

A reminder that this takes place during Durham Lumiere so travel times may be longer than usual.

About This Event

Kate Clanchy will read from and talk about her new book about teaching, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, to chime with the themes of the Lumiere festival. She will also read from England, Poems From a School, an anthology of her migrant student poems.

This will be a great opportunity for students, teachers, and poetry lovers to hear from an award-winning writer and inspiring teacher, whose most recent work has been described by Phillip Pullman as "the best book on teachers and children and writing that I've ever read".

About Kate Clanchy

Kate Clanchy is the author of two prize-winning collections of poetry, the acclaimed Slattern (1995), which won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection) and a Somerset Maugham Award, and Samarkand (1999), which was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Her poetry has been broadcast by BBC Radio and published in various newspapers and magazines including The Scotsman, the New Statesman and Poetry Review. She also writes for radio and broadcasts on the World Service and BBC Radio 3 and 4.

Newborn (2004), is a collection of poems covering pregnancy, birth and caring for a new baby. In 2005 she wrote a poetic picture book for children, Our Cat Henry Comes to the Swings.

Her book What Is She Doing Here?: A Refugee's Story (2008) won the 2008 Writers' Guild Award (Best Book). In 2009, her short story, 'The Not-Dead and the Saved' won the BBC National Short Story Award. In 2013 her first novel Meeting the English was shortlisted for the Costa Prize for Best First Novel.

About Some Kids I Taught And What They Taught Me (2019)

Kate Clanchy wants to change the world and thinks school is an excellent place to do it. She invites you to meet some of the kids she has taught in her thirty-year career.

Join her as she explains everything about sex to a classroom of thirteen-year-olds. As she works in the school ‘Inclusion Unit’, trying to improve the fortunes of kids excluded from regular lessons because of their terrifying power to end learning in an instant. Or as she nurtures her multicultural poetry group, full of migrants and refugees, watches them find their voice and produce work of heartbreaking brilliance.

While Clanchy doesn’t deny stinging humiliations or hide painful accidents, she celebrates this most creative, passionate and practically useful of jobs. Teaching today is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me will show you why it shouldn’t be.

Contact for more information about this event.

Related Links


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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