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Leicestershire writers celebrated at Literary Leicester

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Leicestershire writers celebrated at Literary Leicester

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Communities and also in Education

The expression “m’duck,”  Frog Island and reflections on Evington Road form aspects of an exhibition of work by Leicestershire writers taking place at the University of Leicester.

The Grassroutes Exhibition, a showcase of Leicestershire novelists, poets, playwrights and fiction writers, is open to the public on the third floor of the University of Leicester’s David Wilson Library as part of the Literary Leicester festival.

The Grassroutes project, led by Dr. Corinne Fowler at the University’s School of English, promotes knowledge of Leicestershire’s diverse contemporary writing.

The project outputs consist of an online Writers’ Gallery, an online catalogue of transcultural writing by Leicester-based writers since 1980, a £1,000 creative writing commission and a Grassroutes blog.

The exhibition features a series of panels highlighting some of the 50 writers from the Writers’ Gallery, including Anita Sivakumaran, Bali Rai, Jean Binta Breeze, Carol Leeming, Siobhan Logan and Jacob Ross.

The exhibition will be held in the David Wilson Library as part of Literary Leicester, which runs from Wednesday, November 7 to Saturday, November 10, and will remain in place throughout November.

A group of five Leicestershire writers will also read from their work at the University’s Embrace Arts, Lancaster Road, from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday, November 8, as part of the festival.

This free lunchtime event will include the inaugural reading of ‘Five Voices Leicester’ by Anita Sivakumaran, which was commissioned by Grassroutes and is printed on the exhibition panels.

The touring exhibition was held at Leicester Central Library in October.

Dr Corinne Fowler, director of the Grassroutes project and lecturer at the University’s School of English, said: “The international readerships enjoyed by London-based writers such as Monica Ali, Hanif Kureishi and Andrea Levy indicate the capital’s status as the nucleus of transcultural British writing.

“The Grassroutes project does not aim to contest this status. Rather it signals a practical response to the corresponding struggle of regional writers to gain access to wide readerships. The Grassroutes project demonstrated that Leicestershire has a thriving transcultural literary scene. The exhibition showcases a handful of these writers.

“Grassroutes conceives of Leicestershire as a diaspora space, a concept that was first developed by literary theorist Avtar Brah. In other words, the experience of migration does not merely alter the consciousness of newly arrived Leicestershire residents. It influences everyone, transforming the consciousness of those who are commonly represented as ‘indigenous’ white locals. This is strikingly apparent in the author pages of the Grassroutes Writers’ Gallery.”

The Grassroutes Project is funded by Arts Council England.

Like all Literary Leicester events, the exhibition is free and open to the public. To book places for the reading event, please visit: http://www.embracearts.co.uk/

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