University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

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25 Oct: Ben Okri in Conversation

Saturday 25 October: 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Law Faculty, LG19,10 West Road, CB3 9DZ

Booker prize-winning author Ben Okri will look back at his writing career with Tim Cribb, an English Fellow at the University of Cambridge who was a visiting lecturer at the universities of Ife and Kwara State in Nigeria. Okri is considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions and has been compared favourably to authors such as Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez.

Part of the Festival of Ideas

Booker = ‘weight’?

‘Ali Smith’s How to Be Both would also have made a worthy, very different winner, but this [The Narrow Road to the Deep North ]is in some ways a weightier book’, says Justine Jordan in The Guardian  – but does that mean ‘great themes’ (as Grayling claims) or sheer page-numbers (Flanagan =464 pages; Smith = 384) – or do we assume one requires the other?





23rd Oct – poetry reading DELL OLSEN AND JUDITH GOLDMAN

The first MATERIALS reading this term, and the tenth in the series
overall, will take place on Thursday 23rd October at the Judith E.
Wilson Drama Studio, English Faculty Basement, Cambridge, 7.30 for 8pm.
DELL OLSEN will read alongside the visiting American poet JUDITH
GOLDMAN, who is in town for one month only.


Dell Olsen's publications include 'Book of the Fur' (2000), 'Secure
Portable Space' (2004) and 'punk faun' (2012). "designed for everyday
life but mostly out of range / between various small fires nightly on TV
a dog".

Judith Goldman has published 'Vocodor' (2001), 'Deathstars/rico-chet'
(2006) and 'The Disposessions' (2009). "I died of a chief delight. fare
thee well, crackpot."


Copies of work by the poets and various other small-press material will
be available on a book-table on the night. BYOB.

Contact David Grundy ( or Lisa Jeschke (
for any further questions.

Gillian Beer and Louise Ells discuss Alice Munro: 3 July

Alice Munro: Short Stories and the Nobel Prize

Thursday 3 July

1.15pm, Meeting Room, Clare Hall

You might like to read some of the stories in Munro’s Lying Under the Apple Tree (2104) in advance, but this is not essential.

A conversation about Munro between Dame Gillian Beer, Honorary Fellow and  Louise Ells, Anglia Ruskin University.


Part of Clare Hall’s Canada Week


Clare Hall Literary Talks: Rachel Calder, Literary Agent 20 June

You are invited to a talk by Rachel Calder, Literary Agent

She will talk about the history of her agency (founded in 1896 by J. B Pinker) and about the role of literary agents today.

Fri. 20 June, 6 pm

West Court, Clare Hall, Herschel Road, CB3 9AL

All welcome. Wine will be served.

You are welcome to pass on this invitation to anyone else who might be interested.

Next year, we plan to host talks and readings by Christine Koning, Susan Sellers, Angela Leighton, Ian Patterson, Simon Jarvis and others tbc.

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