All posts by LAURA

NT Live: “Jane Eyre” (8th of December 2015) ARC Stockton Arts Centre

Director: Sally Cookson

Almost 170 years on, Charlotte Brontë’s classic story of Jane is as inspiring as ever.

For English students who are a fan of Brontë’s work, this will be a performance not to miss.

This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and personal achievement.

This acclaimed re-imagining of Brontë’s masterpiece was first staged by Bristol Old Vic last year, when the story was performed over two evenings.

Director Sally Cookson now brings her celebrated production to the National, presented as a single, exhilarating performance.


Reflective Writing Event; October 20th 2015




Are you struggling to write reflectively and find yourself staring blankly at an empty word document?

Not sure what reflective writing actually entails and wish to find out? Or do you just want to improve your reflective vernacular for an upcoming academic piece?

Then make sure you get to this workshop! It will take place at 12pm-1pm, L2.02 in the Teesside Library.
Topics that will be covered include how to write in the reflective style, the process of successfully incorporating academic research into your reflective writing, as well as understanding why written reflection is valuable.




Bear and Butterfly (Middlesbrough Town Hall) 20th October! 12:30pm – 2:15pm

Tickets – £5.50 + booking fees
Group discounts are available for bookings of 25+ for £5 per ticket.  

Please contact the Box Office for details.

 This is a fantastic event for children to get involved in and experience!

Book Signing with local author David McCaffrey (W H SMITH) October 10th!

Can any death be humane?



This is a great opportunity to talk with an experienced author. He wrote the thriller Hellbound, a tale that is both remarkable and thought-provoking, delving into the ethics of capital punishment.

You follow murderer Obadiah Stark and reporter Jack O’Connell, while the former commits his many horrible crimes and the latter doggedly seeks the truth about the blood-thirsty killer (and chases anything in a skirt.)

You also follow Obadiah on his journey after his execution.

The ethical questions surrounding thoughts on justice and the death sentence are raised surprisingly well within in this novel. Hellbound does’t give any overt information regarding the David’s opinion on the death penalty, so you are not swayed into thinking it is “right” or “wrong.” But he does give you the facts (he has a background in criminology). You’re then left to make your own mind up about the main character Obadiah Stark .

It’s certainly not a mindless, horror gore-fest with no substance.

So if you’re a fan of provocative, psychologically thrilling stories, read the book and meet the man himself!

If you do go to the signing, you will also get a signed copy of Hellbound from the author himself.

Black History Month: Poetry on Campus: Amir Darwish

Amir Darwish was born in Syria in 1979 and came to the UK as an asylum seeker during the Second Gulf War. His poetry has been published in the USA, Pakistan, Finland, Morocco and Mexico. In 2014 he graduated from Teesside University and has recently completed an MA in International Studies at the University of Durham.

Don’t Forget the Couscous is a book of poetry about exile and home. It is a love-song to the Arab world – Syria, Kurdistan, Morocco and Palestine. It is a memoir of the failed Arab Spring and the civil-war that has turned Syria into a ‘fountain of blood’. It’s a bitter account of the demonisation of Islam in the West, and the violent interference of the West in the Islamic world. It is about being a Muslim and not a terrorist.


14th of October Booking is available on the Teesside Events page, 6pm-8pm. T1.01, The Curve.

Middlesbrough Art Run

An exciting event is available for you to book!

A part of Localism-an exhibition project and season of ambitious events at mima-The Middlesbrough Art Run is due to take place on the 24th of October! Here lies the opportunity to take part in numerous activities, starting with the circuit training, followed by a unique modern phenomenon, the silent disco, with an exciting (and predictably messy) “colour fight” taking place on the iconic Transporter Bridge.

This is just some of the action promised to any participants willing to book a place and take part!

This is a great opportunity to get well acquainted with Middlesbrough’s artistic and historical landscapes.

Don’t miss out: follow the above link to find out more!

The Shared Labor of Life

It has come to my attention that I have failed to write anything poetic for some time now, so yesterday I put pen to paper again and came up with this little number. Sorry if it seems a bit plain sailing, I feel a tad rusty.



We never quit pouring sentimental dreams

into modern, robotized hearts

that cease to bleed.

Million depart this interior cold

and look out to our world

of formless souls.

Struck dumb by countless fairy tales

that convince us that

we will not fail

But all the while

we in fact know the truth

that bad things can happen

to those who are good.

So as we sit down

to watch the six ‘o’ clock news

and critique foreign wars and the starving children of two

be wise, and recall lives are governed by laws

that do not exist

At all.


Newcastle Writing Conference: Do it Yourself – Saturday 6th June

New Writing North and Northumbria University are delighted to present the Newcastle Writing Conference: Do it Yourself. Aimed at new and emerging writers of fiction, as well as more established writers wanting to embrace the digital age, the conference will explore trends in publishing, identify new markets for writing and support authors to make connections with each other and with industry experts.

Note:  Student tickets are available for £25

For full details see:

Will books become obsolete?

This is the ongoing question that seems to stump most of us. I for one love books in both their e-book and paper book forms.

But it is obvious that the internet is so deeply entrenched within our culture, that it has become a regular part of our life and identity. We rely on the internet to talk to each other, share videos, edit videos, listen to music, watch movies and, yes, read.

The technology we experience today is an all-encompassing medium that has made things like printed paper seem, well, a tad wasteful. Letter writing has already gone the way of the dinosaur. Music stores have suffered in the age of the internet as well, with people pirating their songs and downloading music for free,  rather than spending £14.99 on a physical copy of their beloved album. The CD is being replaced by iCloud, the map is being replaced by GPS and Sat Nav…

So what about books? Will they get replaced eventually?

The realist in me says yes, unfortunately. After all, what reason is there to buy books when we can store hundreds or even thousands of books on a single iPad or Kindle?  For convenience’s sake alone, it seems logical to purchase our books online.

And yet, there is definitely a romantic and quite poignant appeal that comes with holding a book, for a lot of people. Turning the page is an act which connects us with the world we are reading. It is a gesture which requires our curiosity and attention in the story at hand. With an iPad or a similar device, the temptation to simultaneously browse the web whilst reading is real struggle. I should know. With every word that I don’t quite understand, or with each turn of phrase that doesn’t quite make sense, I find myself opening an internet browser and scrupulously searching for the answers to my impatient questions. But the very act of doing this shatters the escapism one associates with reading a book. I find myself trying to pick up where I left off far too often when I’m reading from a screen!

I also find that the very ethereal existence of our e-books creates a disconnection. Sure, the e-book exists, but we can’t touch an e-book, or smell it, or hold it. Pixels just don’t possess any of the warmth or tangibility of a good hardback. Maybe I’m just a nostalgic idiot, but books also remind me of the past too, like vinyl. Books may go the way of vinyl and become precious collectors items of infinite worth to their owners. Maybe the e-book and the book can coexist harmoniously and the Pixel vs Paper war doesn’t even have to happen! E-books could rid us of cheap, mass market abominations like Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey (sorry Meyer and E.L James fans!) and further people’s admiration for well-produced, high-quality books.

The future of the paperback/hardback is an uncertain one for sure.

We could lose them forever, or have them around forever.

Personally, I can only sit here and hope for the latter option.

Terry Pratchett

I’m sure you are now all aware of author Terry Pratchett’s passing. His mind was vast. His imagination was immeasurable. He will be sorely missed by the literary community, including Neil Gaiman who was a friend of Terry’s for thirty years (and one month).

So in honour of his memory, I’ve compiled a list of his works. There are many fantastic books that I may have missed so please seek him out when you can. In the library, online, anywhere!

  • The Colour of Magic 
  • Hogfather 
  • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents 
  • Dodger
  • Witches Abroad
  • Wintersmith
  • Feet of Clay
  • The Long War
  • Monstrous Regiment
  • Thud!
  • I Shall Wear Midnight
  • Men at Arms
  • Good Omens
  • The Wee Free Men
  • Raising Steam
  • The Light Fantastic
  • Guards! Guards!
  • Wyrd Sisters
  • Snuff
  • Small Gods
  • The Carpet People
  • Unseen Academicals
  • Pyramids
  • The Fifth Elephant
  • Making Money
  • Interesting Times
  • Lords and Ladies