Archive for October, 2014

10 Great Quotations for International Literacy Day

October 16, 2014

Interesting Literature

Today is International Literacy Day! What better time, then, to celebrate some of the wisest, wittiest, pithiest, silliest, and most profound things that writers have ever said about literature and reading? The following are 10 of our personal favourites from the last 21 months of Interesting Literature.

‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,’ said Jojen. ‘The man who never reads lives only one.’

– George R. R. Martin

Parents should leave books lying around marked ‘forbidden’ if they want their children to read.

– Doris Lessing

There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.

– P. G. Wodehouse

Cat with book

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

– Charles Dickens

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.

– Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

One always tends to overpraise a long…

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10 Great Quotations from Oscar Wilde

October 16, 2014

Interesting Literature

Oscar Wilde was born on this day in 1854, so we’ve looked through the literary library here at Interesting Literature to bring you our ten favourite Wildean one-liners!

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. – ‘The Remarkable Rocket’

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. – The Picture of Dorian Gray

To be really medieval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes. – ‘A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated’

Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do. – ‘The Remarkable Rocket’

The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped…

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Was Hamlet a Woman? Yes and No…

October 13, 2014

Interesting Literature

At the moment, Maxine Peake is playing Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. The promotional blurb for the production on the Royal Exchange website states that Peake ‘creates a Hamlet for now, a Hamlet for Manchester’. But a woman playing Hamlet is, actually, nothing new. Numerous women have played the part in the past, with each generation offering new interpretations of the idea of a female Hamlet. Indeed, Tony Howard, a professor at the University of Warwick, has even written a book on the subject (which we’d highly recommend). Howard has stated that the two best Hamlet performances he has ever seen were with a woman in the title role.

The first known instance of a woman playing Hamlet was when Charlotte Charke, who lived from 1713 until 1760, played the Prince of Denmark. Charke was the twelfth child of the Poet Laureate Colley Cibber; she became…

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Paper boats and dancing poets at Shakespeare’s, Sheffield

October 9, 2014

Quiet Compere Tour 2014


Sheffield, I love your space and street art, your compactness and charm. Sheffield is a place I feel I could direct people around after two days of finding my way. From the back streets of Vicar Lane and Campo Lane to West Bar roundabout in rush hour and the Graves Gallery.

I visited the Picture the Poet exhibition at Graves Gallery on the way to my accommodation and chatted with a few visitors about poetry. If I’d known it was on in advance I would have arrived earlier and accosted all the patrons with Sheffield Quiet Compere flyers.


I went to check out the venue in the afternoon and my main concern was that the lights were not powerful or pointed at the stage. I had brief visions of the Quiet Compere holding a torch to each poet’s papers. Would have been memorable, but given a gaffer tape…

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and the Poetry Competition Winners are…

October 3, 2014



 1st Prize        Sarah Leavesley          That Night 

 Winning Poem

Dust to Dust

Last Orders at the Light Bar – Gaia Holmes – 2nd Prize

Inspired by a typo on a menu that offers ‘deep fried lamp’ instead of ‘deep fried lamb’

The cheapest you can buy is the thick, bruised light

that follows heavy rain,

the brash blue glare of fly repellent lights,

the mean frowzy light from high rise stair-wells

or the soft, speckled gold of a microwave

cooking its load in the darkness.

Middle of the range is the subtle kind:

light glossing a bowl of green apples,

the muted glimmer of Koi carp in a pond,

sea light squeezed and filtered through a porthole,

the amber Rembrandt bloom of a country pub at night

or the quick flash of first light

bouncing off cans of Strongbow in the corner shop.


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Alex Toms – Tenancy

October 1, 2014

The Stare's Nest

There was no clause stating I’d have to share with ghosts –
those who were just passing through,
alighting like bees on a bush
before going on their way.
Mostly they don’t bother me,
but sometimes they leave a reminder:
a tarnished teaspoon at the back of a drawer;
on the flowerbed, a toy soldier fallen in action.
Lives wiped away
like mould that blooms on a window frame,
or painted over with thick magnolia strokes.
Existences masked, but not erased,
lingering like the must of damp,
seeping into layers of plaster and brick.
Sometimes I think I can hear them:
in the ripple of breath behind the curtains;
in the walls that hum like a hive
before a frame’s removed.
Biography: Alex has been published in magazines, anthologies and journals including Writers’ Forum, ARTEMISPoetry and South. Her competition successes include a commendation in the 2013 Poetry…

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