Scottish BAME Writers Network

In early 2019, the Scottish BAME Writers Network partnered with the Scottish Poetry Library to offer writers of colour a space where they could develop their craft as a community. The pamphlet ‘Ceremony’  is the result. It is a collaboration between fifteen authors, and lives at the intersection of multiple traditions, landscapes, and languages. From […]

Interview with Matt Bryden

Matt Bryden is one of the six recipients of the RSL’s Literature Matters Awards 2018. He discusses his time in residence at Bristol Temple Meads train station’s Lost Property Office, with RSL Director Molly Rosenberg, which he is using to inspire him to write a new collection of poetry. Recipient of 2018 RSL Literature Matters […]

Interview with Pascale Petit

We’ve asked for a picture of what you see from your writing desk – what does your typical writing day look like? Thanks to my Literature Matters Award I’ve had two whole delicious uninterrupted writing months so far, and one more to come in December. My favourite routine is to wake up really early and […]

Literature Matters: Identity and Idealism

Novelist and journalist Hari Kunzru is the author of The Impressionists, Transmission, My Revolutions, Gods Without Men and White Tears. His work has been translated into twenty languages. In 2003, he caused a sensation when he turned down the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize on the grounds that it was backed by the Mail on Sunday, […]

Imagination in Action (full transcript)

This is the full transcript of Marina Warner’s Literature Matters: Imagination in action lecture, given at the British Library, 26 September 2017. (This version as delivered on the night, not fully referenced; please quote only with permission – contact [email protected]) A different version appeared in the London Review of Books on November 16 2017. Introduction: […]

Literature In Britain Today

On 1 March 2017 we published our report Literature in Britain Today The report summarised the findings from our ground-breaking opinion poll, carried out by Ipsos MORI. It is, as far as we know, the first time that anyone has attempted to find out how many people read literature, what it means to them, and which […]

Why Literature Matters by Kamila Shamsie

My first inclination was to reach for the loudest, grandest claims. I was going to write about growing up in a time and place (Pakistan, the 1980s) when writers were censored, threatened, forced into exile, trailed by intelligence agencies. Literature matters, I was going to say, because it threatens dictators who have all the force […]

Why Writing Matters by Jonathan Coe

The following talk was given by Jonathan Coe, for the RSL and Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, to celebrate the first National Writing Day, 21 June 2017. A few years ago, I found myself travelling back to the UK from Italy by train. Actually, I didn’t ‘find myself’ – I’d chosen to travel this way. I’d […]

Why Writing Matters by Michael Rosen

The following talk was given by Michael Rosen, for the RSL, to celebrate the first National Writing Day, 21 June 2017. We cannot know everything. We cannot remember everything. Each of us cannot know everything there is to know about ourselves. Each of us cannot know everything there is to know about everyone else. For […]

Books, by Caleb Femi

A hospital is never a good place to die – At least not the right place. You were in one once, recovering from a fever. A man, late in his years, lying in the bed next to yours called to you after the morning nurse did her rounds. This is me when I was twelve […]