French fancy for readers

Sean O'Brien, Professor of Poetry at Hallam University
Sean O'Brien, Professor of Poetry at Hallam University

The first French book group for the French-speaking community of Sheffield has been running for nearly a year and is seeking new members to add to its growing group of Francophile book lovers.

The French Book Group is run by Dr Karine Zbinden from the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sheffield, Dr Zbinden said: “This group is open to all who wish to meet like-minded people in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and discuss the books they read informally. Our programme includes French, Canadian and Swiss authors. The group is a vibrant cultural hub for any French speakers in the area.” An open meeting will be held at Cafe Rouge on 14 October at 8:30 for people to come along and discuss their favourite French works and find out how to get involved.

Sheffield is one of ten venues for The Poetry Book Society’s national tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first T S Eliot Prize,

set up in 1993 to mark its 40th anniversary and to honour its founding poet.

For the first time audiences outside London will have the opportunity to hear poetry from the T S Eliot Prize shortlisted poets - who have made the Readings in the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall the most thrilling as well as the largest event of the poetry year - alongside emerging local voices.

As part of Off the Shelf Festival, Sean O’Brien (pictured), Paul Farley and Esther Morgan, along with Sheffield award-winning poet, Helen Mort will be appearing in the Arundel Room, Millennium Galleries,on Tuesday,

An event at the Pennine Theatre on Wednesday celebrating Sheffield Hallam’s creative writing course will feature four of its writers - Jane Rogers, Professor of Writing on the MA course and author, Marina Lewycka of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, fame, Susan Elliot Wright, an associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam whose debut novel is The Things We Never Said and James Wheatley, author of Magnificent Joe, set in a former pit village and described as a present day Of Mice and Men.

Book worms are invited to bring a treasured book and a photograph of themselves to Sheffield Central Library on Saturday morning as part of Off The Shelf. It’s to celebrate a community project supported by Sheffield Town Trust and Sheffield Hallam University about memories of reading from the mid thirties onwards.

“The project was very exciting,” says organiser Dr Mary Grover (pictured). “We were thrilled how many people were eager to share their experiences of reading before the days when most people had televisions.”.

The event includes a film made during a celebratory meeting of volunteers last year. “Friendships were forged,” says Mary,”and we were delighted that so many people had vivid memories of the many public libraries in Sheffield, as well as their school libraries, and parents’ bookshelves!”.

The readers are bringing their treasured books to share and chat about - plus a photograph of their young selves.

Author and BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Rony Robinson will be talking about the books he treasures and sharing memories of his own early reading passions.

The project has attracted interest all over the country, with Mary speaking recently at a conference in Brighton.