Oxford’s ‘Secret Places’ Exposed

HEBDEN BRIDGE, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Novelist Ursula Le Guin attends the launch of ‘The Unexpected World’ by Haruki Murakami at Bloomsbury, on April 11, 2015 in Heydon, England. (Photo by Joe Giddens/Getty Images)

From trout farmers to medieval teenage lords, people who inhabit Oxfordshire (and beyond) sometimes live in worlds to themselves. But on 12 April, those worlds collided with a major literary event as attendees gathered to celebrate at a Millennium Trust event at Banbury’s Little Bricket Hotel.

“This year we are celebrating the achievements of those who have made our world richer and more diverse,” wrote Oldbury resident Tanya Bennett in a recent piece for Oxford’s Letterers newspaper.

The Millennium Trust, founded in 1988, was founded to encourage artistic and intellectual freedom. It has become famous for its annual events, including writers’ evenings and readings from its archive. This year’s event invited members of the public to nominate some of the novels that have “contributed to the betterment of the world.”

As BAC Editor Caroline Browne noted, the winners were Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, Edwin O’Connor’s The Collector, and Le Guin’s Earthsea. Despite his namesake, Patterson Bagwell, who wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning science fiction under the pseudonym David Edward Bailey, didn’t make the cut.

Watch a video about the event below:

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More from Oxford

Dozens of American authors are holding midnight Q&As at pubs around the United States as part of ‘Write Live: 12 Hours With Your Favorite Author’ this week. Some readers have even been traveling to remote locations, like South Carolina, to get a taste of what it’s like to live with a writer.

For those who have missed your chance to read with a major literary author, you can enjoy readings by eminent American authors at open air performances on the streets of Oxford in Oxford Poetry Day. Readings by writers from William Tecumseh Sherman to Adam Plath are taking place throughout the city on Saturday, from 10am to 3pm. They will be held in various venues including ancient and new cemeteries, art galleries, and local theatres.

Another opportunity to share live with an American author is listed in this article by “Ask Emily” which explains how you can go to the big trees on St Georges Close in Summertown to hear stories from fantasy and mystery author Will Sawyer.

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