Nottingham became a UNESCO City of Literature in December 2015, one of only 20 cities around the world recognised by UNESCO for the sheer quality and quantity of literary excellence.
“Building a better world with words” is our motto: we recognise that words can be truly transformative. Nottingham has always excelled at realising this: from the world-changing lines of Byron through to our present poetry scene; from DH Lawrence’s questioning of convention through to the Sleaford Mods splenetic rage; we have a vernacular unique.
“The UNESCO accreditation will boost our profile on the international stage as a city with a rich literary past, a vibrant contemporary scene and a very exciting future – a future where Nottingham becomes a leading cultural destination for the enjoyment and study of literature.”
— SANDEEP MAHAL
We have plans for the future to ensure that Nottingham makes the most of the title; to keep being a powerhouse of invention and imagination. To inspire writers to write, to inspire all to read. To celebrate and promote the diversity of our city, and the way it absorbs, synthesises and turns out art that keeps the streets vibrant.
Nottingham meets Lviv: Part 1
"My early impression of Ukraine was indistinguishable from my early impression of the rest of the USSR. If you’d asked me to describe it, I would have given you a snowblown, industrial vista bristling with warheads and failing reactors. Had you asked me about its people, I would likely have described the pixelated figures dancing a gopak when you complete the B-Mode of Tetris."
Meet Rebecca Goldsmith
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rebecca Goldsmith as a freelance consultant and writer working on a very special project to develop Dawn of the Unread as a literacy engagement tool. We decided to find out more about the talented woman and her hopes and plans for the future.
Become a Volunteer
We run an internship and student placement programme with our partners, Nottingham Trent University to provide experience to students in the fields of literature programming, digital marketing and communications.
friday 10th feb 2017
6:00PM - 9:00PM
On Friday 10th February, Nottingham illuminates for the annual Light Night. For the first time, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature will be there with a very special takeaway on offer…
Nottingham's lesser known literary history: Eight Oddities
We have a rich history of literature in Nottingham, with our writers laying down a body of work full of vigour, verve and verisimilitude. The stories of our writers are known internationally; the swashbuckling Byron; the scandal-causing Lawrence; the whatever-you-think-I-am-I’m-not of Alan Sillitoe. But we have a fair dose of weird in the mix. We thought we’d dig up some choice nuggets of strange to make you see the city in a different light.
My First 100 Days: Sandeep Mahal
Sandeep Mahal became our first Director at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature in Septemeber 2016. Here, she tells us about her first (very busy) 100 days in the role, and her hopes and plans for the future.
The Lord of Milan
Robert Nieri didn’t set out to write a novel, which is fitting. His subject matter, Herbert Kilpin, probably didn’t set out to create one of the most famous football clubs in the world. But somehow, the spirit of creativity that surges through this city led to both these outcomes.
The closure of the Central Library on Angel Row is not new news. The plan to redevelop the library appeared in the governing party’s manifesto and was discussed in Nottingham’s bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature. Nobody can doubt the City Council’s continuing commitment to our library service, which was one of the reasons for our bid’s success. How to replace the library at a time of unparalleled political crisis and continuing austerity is a huge challenge. The City of Literature will offer all the support we can and act as a critical friend, arguing for the widest access possible and improved services. Libraries are our life blood. We have every confidence that the City Council will continue to put library provision at the heart of their mission and the development of a new Central Library can only be seen as a positive outcome for Nottingham’s Literature status.
— David Belbin, Chair of Nottingham City of Literature
Our response to the news of Central Library's closure
Voices of Jewish and Muslim writers
This was a rare night in November Nottingham when Exiled Writers Ink came, originally, from Iran, Israel, Bangladesh and the hills of Iraqi Kurdistan, to give voice to Jewish and Muslim writers. ‘It was a good gig,’ remarked Michael Mehrdad Zand Ahanchian, born a jew in Iran,who has spent most of his life in the United Kingdom, now drilling down into civil wars and turbulence that lie buried deep in most places. Up the road from George Street, where Michael shared his astranomical verse, Standard Hill records an English King’s fatal mistakes.
It’s my first day at Nottingham City of Literature and I would like to use the first of my regular blogs to introduce myself.