We hold more that 100 events every year

Events and Classes

For more details on our concerts please go to Music Library News and Events

Art, Literature and Music


Wednesday 23rd | 1-3pm |10 week Creative Writing Course with tutor Kathleen Kenny

Wednesday 23rd | 6-8pm | £60 Writing a Novel with Ellen Phethean (1 of 10 sessions)

Thursday 24th | 6pm | FREE Lecture | Dominic Riley discusses his own fine binding of the Natural History of Selborne followed by the opening of a display on Gilbert White’s work of 1789.

Friday 25th | 10.15am-12.15pm | £60 Writing for Children with Ellen Phethean
1 of 10 sessions (places limited)

Saturday 26th | 10.15am | FREE | Storytelling with SSWAG

Monday 28th | 6pm | FREE | Reading Group on the Pseudo sciences of the long nineteenth century - Read Your Fate in Your Nose: Was 'Nasology' just a harmless fad or was it a potent tool?' Dr. Hellen Giblin-Jowett will introduce two readings for a discussion of Nasology. The first reading is from Nasology: or, Hints Towards a Classification of Noses (1848) by Eden Warwick. The second reading is from the archived programme for the Countway Boston Medical Library/Harvard University Medical Library 'Talking Heads' exhibition in 2002.
To download both readings, please go to http://scienceandpseudoscience.wordpress.com

To reserve a place please email p.beesley@newcastle.ac.uk

Monday 28th | 7pm | FREE | Poetry Reading | Brendan Cleary with Kathleen Kenny - ‘goin down slow brings together Brendan Cleary’s poetry published over 25 years.

Wednesday 30th | 7pm | £5/3 | The Tale of Walter the Pencil Man. Ian McMillan and Tony Husband have worked together for many years and their latest collaboration tells the sombre story of a young lad from a Yorkshire pit village caught up in the horrors of the First World War. He records what he sees with a pencil and paper. Ian McMillan presents The Verb on Radio 3. Tony Husband draws ‘The Yobs’ in Private Eye and has worked for the Times, the
Spectator and Punch.


Saturday 3rd May | 2pm | Crime Saturday | £5/3 per session or £12/8 for all three An estimated 45% of the fiction borrowed from the Lit & Phil falls into the category of crime . Our fascination with the subject seems to be not only ongoing but continually branching out into new areas. Join us for Crime Saturday and meet some of the authors responsible for this interest. We are hosting literary panels of experts discussing their particular area of crime fiction.

Historical Crime 2.00 – 3.30pm

Aly Monroe is the author of the Peter Cotton series. Her third novel Icelight, was awarded the 2012 CWA Historical Dagger.
Samantha Norman is finishing ‘Winter Siege’, a book started by her mother, the historical thriller writer Ariana Franklin who died in 2011.
John Lawton has written seven novels, the last of which ‘A Lily of the Field’ was named Daily Telegraph Thriller of the Year in 2011.

Women in Crime 4.30 – 6.00pm
Mari Hannah won the Polari First Book Prize for her debut novel, The Murder Wall and a Northern Writers’ Award for her second, Settled Blood.
Zoë Sharp has written a standalone crime novel, various short stories and ten books featuring bodyguard Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox.
MJ McGrath is the author of the Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries. The first in the series, White Heat, was nominated for a CWA Gold Dagger.

Icelandic Crime 7.00 – 8.30pm
Ragnar Jonasson is an Icelandic writer of the Dark Iceland crime series set in Northern Iceland, currently being developed as a TV series.
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir the bestselling and award-winning Icelandic crime author of the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series.
Quentin Bates is writing a series of crime novels set in present day Iceland. Cold Steal will be published in April 2014.

In association with Northumbria University

Wednesday 7th | 1.10pm | FREE Lunchtime recital - Afra Jurkiewicz & Matthew Ryan

A concert featuring two final year students in performance at Newcastle Univeristy. Matthew will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 and works by Liszt and Ravel. Afra will be performing contemporary works including Three Preludes by Gershwin, Tango by Marlos Nobre and Danca Negra by Camargo Guarnierni.

Wednesday 7th | 7.30pm | £6/5 Jazz concert - The Virtuoso Jazz Trio

Whenever this trio assembles on the concert platform the sense of fun and excitement is palpable. Their repertoire is rooted in the very best of the Great American Songbook, to which audiences of all ages and musical tastes respond with a sense of delight. George MacDonald (clarinet), James Birkett (guitar) and Tony Abel (bass).

Thursday 8th | 6pm | FREE Sculptor Michael Lyons in conversation with Judith LeGrove,
author of a recent book on his work. During a career of over fifty years, Michael has made sculpture in China, Mexico, the United States, Germany and Turkey, as well as maintaining a studio near York. Tonight’s illustrated discussion focuses on his connections with Newcastle in the mid-1960s to recent drawings, prints and steel sculptures based on the cult of Mithras.

Friday 9th | 1pm | £4 Lunchtime Jazz @ the Lit & Phil Triptych is a new trio featuring Paul
Edis (piano), Rob Walker (drums) and Paul Susans (bass). All three members of the group bring a diverse repertoire and extensive experience to create new interpretations alongside new compositions.

Saturday 10th | 10am-1pm | £5 | Poetry Workshop | Rediscovering Nature with Jessica Wortley.

Monday 12th May | 1.10pm | FREE Lunchtime recital - Dark Inventions

Dark Inventions is a young chamber ensemble that seeks to highlight the links between traditionally disparate music. The brainchild of composer and conductor Christopher Leedham and composer and analyst Martin Scheuregger, the group focuses on combining music of different periods, curating projects that aim to entertain and inspire audiences whilst introducing some hidden gems from past and present repertoire.

Wednesday 14th | 7pm | FREE | Kevin Cadwallender is launching a joint pamphlet with Aidan Halpin, The South Face of Groucho Marx. Red Squirrel Press

Thursday 15th | 7.30pm | Tom Hickox Plus the Shooting of...

After releasing his debut album ‘War, Peace and Diplomacy’ on 10th March 2014 and a sell-out show at London's Union Chapel, Tom Hickox is returning to Newcastle. Self-aware enough to describe himself as ‘fussy rhythmically and linguistically’, driven enough to ensure that words not only convey the correct meaning but also fit the meter of the composition correctly, Hickox is a musical craftsman who has already seen The Sunday Times suggest he is ‘from a different planet, and certainly from a different age’.

***** ’The most powerful and original lyrical songwriter this country has produced in years’ The Telegraph

Tickets available from REFLEX Records (Newcastle), Hot Rats (Sunderland), the Lit & Phil and Seetickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/tom-hickox/the-lit-phil/781062/

Saturday 17th May | 2.00pm | FREE Paddington Bear's First Concert

Yoshie Kawamura presents a musical storytelling of Paddington Bear's First Concert with a fun music workshop. Who is in the orchestra? What do conductors do in the orchestra? Find out and experience the joy of becoming a conductor! (Limited places, booking essential)

Monday 19th | 7pm | FREE | 1 of 4 Improvisation and Ear Training with Paul Edis
Suitable for any musician interested in developing their improvisation and aural skills.

20th May | 7.00-9.00pm | FREE | The Lives of Stars | 1 of 4 - Give me Sunshine
Stars are the factories in our universe where all the other elements are made. They shine by converting lighter elements into heavier ones, this is nuclear fusion. At the end of their lives stars throw off much of their material or actually explode. The galaxy is subsequently enriched with the heavier elements, ensuring that later generations of stars and planets contain the elements essential for life – carbon, oxygen, nitrogen as well as those for human adornment – gold, silver, platinum. The story of a star’s life is the story of how the
heavier elements are made.
The rest of the sessions are on Tuesday 27th May, 3rd June and 10th June

Wednesday 21st | 2pm | A Celebration of Britain’s Mountaineering History | Professor Simon Bainbridge, Dr Penelope Bradshaw and Dr Jonathan Westaway discussing the literary and cultural history of rock climbing in Britain and the importance of mountain landscapes as a subject for literary creativity. This coincides with the opening of ‘Mountains in Mind’ an exhibition of paintings, sketchbooks and notebooks from Susan Dobson’s expeditions in the Himalayas. (see also 4th June)

Friday 23rd May | 1.10pm | FREE Lunchtime piano recital - Adam John Taylor

Originally from Newcastle, Adam Taylor is a graduate of the Royal College of Music where he studied under Gordon Fergus-Thompson. He has performed the Royal Overseas League, Victoria & Albert Museum and St. George Hanover Square. Since graduating from The Royal College of Music Adam has studied with the renowned Russian pianist and teacher, Dina Parakhina. Adam is very grateful for the generous support from the Kathleen Trust and Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund.

27th May | 7.00-9.00pm | FREE | The Lives of Stars | 2 of 4 - Massive Stars


3rd June | 7.00-9.00pm | FREE | The Lives of Stars | 3 of 4 - White dwarfs, supernovae, pulsars and black holes

Wednesday 4th | 6pm | FREE | Presentation by Susan Dobson  - Mountains in Mind, Inspirations and Meditations

Tuesday 10th | 7.00-9.00pm | FREE | The Lives of Stars | 4 of 4 | How to make gold

Wednesday 18th | 6.00pm | FREE Lecture - Wagner's Götterdämmerung

David Stannard will discuss the final opera in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen ahead of Opera North's performance at Sage Gateshead on the 28th June.

Friday 20th | 7.00pm | Midsummer Phantoms @ The Phil | £5/3 | The days are long, the nights are short, but there’s an awful lot of creepy twilight to negotiate even on the eve of the Summer Solstice, a time of year when the curtain between realities is dangerously thin…
If your taste isn’t for sunshine, suntan and shapeless shorts (or even if it is) add something more atmospheric to this magical phase of the calendar. Drink in the glories of our loveliest library, sip a little wine and listen to three new tales designed to make June seem just a little darker.
For this occasion our stalwart regulars of the short, spooky narrative, Sean O’Brien and Gail-Nina Anderson, will be joined by Mark Valentine, a name well-known in the flourishing small-press world where traditional ghost tales are written, published and collected. Mark’s mordant wit, old world charm and compendious knowledge of supernatural fiction have made him a legend in book-collecting circles – and he writes a stirring tale too. Three different voices, three chances to scare yourself, three good reasons for stepping out of the sunshine to enjoy a moment of convivial gloom.


Friday 18th July | 1.10pm | FREE Lunchtime recital – Paul Chamberlain (accordion) & Michael Haywood (violin)

Paul Chamberlain was one of the first classical accordionists to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where he studied with Djordje Gajic. He completed a BMus (Hons) degree and subsequently graduatedfrom the conservatoire with a Master of Music Performance with Distinction. Whilst studying there he was awarded the acclaimed Governors Recital Prize for Keyboard, and was also one of the keyboard section finalists in the 2011 Royal Overseas League competition.

To reserve your place:

Please reserve your seat by calling (0191) 232 0192, emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by calling in.

If you reserve a ticket and are subsequently unable to attend, please let us know as we often have a waiting list. Thank you.

In addition to the events listed here, there will be more events added to the list throughout the year. Please check here or in the library for details.