March 14, 2017
Following Colin Thubron’s hugely successful presidency Marina Warner has been elected the RSL’s 19th President. She will be President Elect until the election is ratified at the RSL’s AGM of Fellows on 19 June 2017.
Marina Warner says:
‘It is a huge honour and a great surprise to become President of the RSL. Literature has been my life – reading, writing, listening. I believe it matters to all of us, as individuals and in our relations with one another, now and stretching back into the past.
Literature is storytelling and argument, thinking and remembering, entertainment and consolation; it’s a memory bank and a tool kit for discoveries of all kinds. Novels, plays, poems – writing in every genre – multiply the places where inquiry, dissent, passion, dream, hope, laughter, reflection, surprises and visions can happen.
These are strange, uneasy times. Ursula LeGuin is right when she says, ‘Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.’
The RSL has been committed ever since it was founded in 1820 to furthering the making, reading, discussion and enjoyment of literature in all its variety. I am proud – and touched – to become the first woman to be entrusted with the Presidency. Literature matters, now more than ever.’