Leeds Library marks 250th birthday with WildLines

GEM:  Carl Hutton, boss of The Leeds Library, wants people to discover one of the city's 'cultural gems'.
GEM: Carl Hutton, boss of The Leeds Library, wants people to discover one of the city's 'cultural gems'.
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A nature writing showcase will be staged at The Leeds Library during its 250th anniversary.

WildLines will feature a series of talks from leading nature writers and will also celebrate the library’s vast collection of natural history books.

SPIRAL STAIRCASE:  Librarian Jane Riley with a bound volume.

SPIRAL STAIRCASE: Librarian Jane Riley with a bound volume.

The reading rooms on 
Commercial Street, which is the oldest membership subscription Library in the UK, will 
host the festival from March 15 to 17.

The line up has been curated by writer Richard Smyth and organised in partnership with Leeds Big Bookend. The event is also being supported by Leeds Inspired.

Mr Smyth said: “Writing on nature has never been more vibrant, interesting and urgently relevant than it is today. At the same time, there’s a growing interest in the UK’s rich and diverse nature-writing heritage, which is hugely welcome.

“WildLines at the Leeds Library will be a wonderful opportunity to explore both the modern-day scene – everything from ‘new nature writing’ to landscape to ecology to nature poetry to conservation and climate change – and the books and writers that shaped the way we think about the wild world.”

Guests include award-winning Common Ground author Rob Cowen, novelist and nature writer Alex Preston, former Wordsworth poet in residence Zaffar Kunial, Maren Meinhardt, natural history editor at the Times Literary Supplement, and the Andrew Waterhouse Prize-winning poet Polly Atkin.

Carl Hutton, the library’s chief executive, said: “WildLines is just one of many events and projects we have planned for our 250th celebration. The Library is an amazing place to hear writers talk about their books and passions and I hope across the course of year lovers of books and libraries will take the time to check out one of Leeds’ cultural gems, the work of the Library and its cultural partners.”

For more see www.theleedslibrary.org.uk/events.