Monday, 7 September 2009

Arts Events at the Parsonage

News release from Jenna Holmes, Parsonage Arts Officer:


The Brontë Parsonage Museum launches its new Contemporary Arts Programme this month, with an evening with internationally bestselling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford on Saturday 19 September at 7.30pm at the Old Schoolroom, Haworth. The event will see Yorkshire-born Barbara Taylor Bradford return to the UK as part of a special tour celebrating 30 years since the publication of her landmark novel A Woman of Substance and her new book Breaking The Rules. Barbara Taylor Bradford will be discussing her books, career and love of the Brontës with arts critic and journalist Danuta Kean.

This special event is the first in a new season of contemporary arts events to take place at the Brontë Parsonage Museum between September 2009 and March 2010. Other high profile events will include readings by Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier, and a talk by screenwriter Peter Bowker who recently adapted Wuthering Heights for ITV1.

As well as its usual mix of visual arts exhibitions, talks and workshops, the museum is currently receiving funding from Arts Council England to develop a season of events that showcase and celebrate women’s writing. Arts Officer Jenna Holmes says:

“The Brontës were pioneering women writers and we are delighted that Arts Council England is supporting us to really explore and highlight the Brontës’ influence on contemporary women writers today. This special strand of programming includes visits by high-profile women writers such as Sarah Waters and Barbara Taylor Bradford, but it also enables us to appoint a writer-in-residence, Katrina Naomi, to explore the museum collections and work with community groups, as well as allowing us to support emerging women writers and introduce new creative writing projects and events for everyone who comes to the museum”.

The full details of the new programme are listed below:

Sam Taylor-Wood: Ghosts
Until Monday 2 November
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Landscape photographs of the moors around Haworth, inspired by Wuthering Heights, by major British artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Free on admission to the museum.

A Woman of Substance: An Evening with Barbara Taylor Bradford
Saturday 19 September
7.30pm, Old Schoolroom, Church St, Haworth
Internationally bestselling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford will be visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of her landmark novel, A Woman of Substance, and the release of her new book, Breaking The Rules. She will be speaking about her work and the influence of the Brontës with journalist and arts critic Danuta Kean.

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post at sixteen. By the age of twenty she had graduated to London's Fleet Street as both an editor and columnist. In 1979, she wrote her first novel, A Woman of Substance, and that enduring bestseller has been followed by 24 others. Her novels have sold more than 81 million copies worldwide in more than 90 countries and 40 languages. Barbara Taylor Bradford lives in New York City.

Tickets are £5 and should be booked in advance.
Bookings: 01535 640188 /

National Poetry Day – Writer in Residence
Saturday 10 October
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Poet Katrina Naomi is the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s first Writer in Residence, and over the coming months will be working in the collections, as well as facilitating a special community project. To mark National Poetry Day, Katrina Naomi will be engaging with museum visitors for the day, to produce new poems inspired by visitor responses.

Katrina Naomi is originally from Margate and now lives in London. Her first full collection The Girl with the Cactus Handshake will be published in October 2009. She won the 2008 Templar Poetry Competition and her pamphlet Lunch at the Elephant & Castle was published later that year. She has received an Arts Council England writer's award and a Hawthornden Fellowship, and has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths. Katrina is also a lecturer in creative writing for the Open University.

Free on admission to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Tracy Chevalier (pictured)
Friday 16 October
7.30pm, West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Novelist Tracy Chevalier will be visiting Haworth to read from and discuss her new novel, Remarkable Creatures. The novel tells the story of Mary Anning, who in nineteenth-century Lyme Regis discovers the first pre-dinosaur fossils which will pave the way for Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Tracy Chevalier is the author of five previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999), The Virgin Blue (1997), Falling Angels (2001), The Lady and the Unicorn (2003) and Burning Bright (2007). Born in Washington, DC, she now lives in London with her husband and son. She is Chairman of the Society of Authors.

Tickets are £5 and should be booked in advance.
Bookings: 01535 640188 /

Peter Bowker and Wuthering Heights
Saturday 24 October, 7pm
West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
BAFTA winning screenwriter Peter Bowker will talk about his recent work adapting Wuthering Heights for television. Peter will be joined by director Coky Giedroyc and (filming schedules permitting) other key members of the production team to discuss the process of transferring the story from page to screen. The costumes from the ITV production are currently on display at the Parsonage.

Peter Bowker wrote Blackpool for the BBC, and adapted A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2005) and Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale (2003) for television. His ITV movie Buried Treasure won the BAFTA Lew Grade Award for Most Popular Drama in 2001, and his television film, Flesh and Blood won the Prix Europa and two Royal Television Society awards in 2002. His three part drama, Occupation, about three British soldiers serving in Iraq was shown on BBC1 in 2009.

Tickets are £10 and must be booked in advance. Bookings: 01535 640188 /

From Laptop to Bookshop: The Mslexia Roadshow
Saturday 28 November
Mslexia is a magazine dedicated to women writers. The Mslexia Roadshow offers a day of creative writing opportunities and to hear a successful author discuss her work. Each event can be booked onto individually or you can take part in the whole day.

Mslexia Workshop 1: Writing a synopsis
10am – 12pm, West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Led by novelist and founder of Mslexia Debbie Taylor, this creative writing workshop is aimed at novelists. It will help you identify what your novel is really about, and communicate it to an agent or editor.

Tickets £10 and includes admission to the museum; women only; places are limited and must be booked in advance.
Bookings: 01535 640188 /

Mslexia Workshop 2: First Paragraph
1.30pm- 3.30pm, West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Led by novelist and experienced creative writing tutor Jane Rogers, this workshop is aimed at novelists and short story writers and will help you create an arresting first paragraph.

Tickets £10 and includes admission to the museum; women only; places are limited and must be booked in advance.
Bookings: 01535 640188 /

Sarah Waters in conversation
6pm, West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Sarah Waters will be in conversation with Mslexia founder Debbie Taylor about her writing career and her latest novel, The Little Stranger.

Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature and has been an associate lecturer with the Open University. She has won a Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award and was twice shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2003, she was named Author of the Year three times and was also chosen as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Fingersmith won the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger Award for Historical Crime Fiction and the South Bank Show Award for Literature and both FingersmithThe Night Watch were shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes. Tipping the Velvet, Affinity and Fingersmith have all been adapted for television. The Night Watch is currently in development with the BBC. The Little Stranger has been long listed for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

Tickets are £8 and should be booked in advance; all welcome.
Bookings: 01535 640188 /

Mr Lockwood’s Confusing Christmas
Saturday 12 December
Brontë Parsonage Museum
It’s Christmas and characters from the Brontës’ novels have escaped the pages of their books and been let loose in the Parsonage, where mayhem unfolds. What would happen if Mr Rochester met Cathy under the mistletoe, or Jane Eyre came across Heathcliff in the graveyard with a shovel? And when will Nelly Dean sort out that strange laughter coming from the attic?
Event takes place throughout the day. Free on admission to the museum.

Jo Brown: The Sunbeam and the Storm
Friday 5 March – Monday 3 May
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Artist Jo Brown exhibits a series of abstract paintings inspired by descriptions of weather in Emily Brontë’s poems.

Jo Brown was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and studied in Yorkshire, at Bretton Hall College then Sheffield Hallam University, gaining a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 1995. She was artist in residence at Dean Clough, Halifax in 1995 and has since exhibited regularly in municipal and commercial galleries in England, Scotland and the USA. Free on admission to the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Lisa Appignanesi: Mad, Bad and Sad
Wednesday 10 March, 2pm
West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
“Charlotte Brontë’s portrait of Bertha Mason, the ‘mad, bad and embruted’ wife of Rochester in Jane Eyre has taken on iconic value. But by the time Brontë penned it, she was drawing on what were already old images of madness, probably garnered from the notorious Bedlam”. Lisa Appignanesi

Lisa Appignanesi will be talking about her latest book MAD, BAD and SAD: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800. Including writers such as Charlotte Brontë, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, this is the history of the study of the female mind over the past two centuries. The book has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, the Warwick, the MIND and has won the Medical Journalist’s Award.

Lisa Appignanesi is a novelist, writer and broadcaster, she is former deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, chair of the Freud Museum and president of English PEN.
Admission is £3 and there is no need to book in advance

An Afternoon with Persephone Books
Wednesday 24 March, 2pm
West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth
Persephone Books reprints neglected novels, diaries, short stories and cookery books by women writers such as Dorothy Whipple and Katherine Mansfield. Founder Nicola Beauman talks about the origins of Persephone, how books are chosen and some of the authors.
Admission is £3 and there is no need to book in advance

For further information please contact:

Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer

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