Lewes Literary Society

Welcome to our 2021-22 season.

Our next talk and Q&A is with Frances Spalding on Tuesday 28th September.

If you’d like to be added to our mailing list, which is only used to remind you to book for our talks, please contact us here.

Frances Spalding

28th September 2021

Frances Spalding CBE is an art historian, critic and biographer, specialising in 20th century art. She has written fifteen books, including biographies of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, is formerly editor of the Burlington Magazine and is Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Appropriately, for this year of home holidays, Frances will be talking about ‘Looking at England: John Betjeman, John Piper and the Shell Guides’. The talk, which will be followed by a Q&A, starts at 7pm, and tickets are available here.

Alison Light

19th October 2021

Alison Light’s first book, Forever England, was hailed by the New Statesman as occupying ‘a seminal place in cultural history’.  Mrs Woolf and the Servants was runner up for the Longman’s History Prize ain 2007, and Common People, The History of an English Family was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson (Baillie Gifford) in 2014. Alison will be talking about her latest work, A Radical Romance. A Memoir of Love, Grief and Consolation, which was awarded the 2020 PEN Ackerley Prize for memoir and biography.

Alice O’Keefe

23rd November 2021

Alice O’Keefe’s new novel, Skylark, which is published this November, is set against a backdrop of the anti-roads protests of the 1990s and the undercover policing tactics that have since come to light. Alice’s first novel On the Up, ‘a poignant tale of family life’ (Woman & Home) explored the isolation of new motherhood. As well as being a novelist, Alice is a journalist and writes for various publications including the Guardian, Observer and the New Statesman.
[Photo credit: Moose Azim]

Dean Atta

18th January 2022

Dean Atta’s debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and his debut novel, The Black Flamingo, won the Stonewall Book Award. He was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. Dean has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, and Channel 4, and he is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Dean is based in Glasgow, and is Co-director of the Scottish BAME Writers Network and a patron of LGBT+ History Month. No stranger to Lewes and Brighton, Dean graduated from the University of Sussex in 2006.
[Photo credit: Thomas Sammut]

 Claire Wilcox

22nd February 2022

Claire Wilcox has been Senior Curator of Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum since 2004. She has staged many successful exhibitions for the museum including Radical Fashion, Vivienne Westwood, The Art and Craft of Gianni Versace, The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, and Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up. Professor in Fashion Curation at the London College of Fashion, Claire’s latest book Patchwork, A Life Amongst Clothes, won the PEN Ackerley Prize in 2021.
[Photo credit: Julian Stair]

Salley Vickers

22nd March 2022

Salley Vickers is the author of many highly acclaimed novels, including Miss Garnet’s Angel, The Cleaner of Chartres, Cousins, The Librarian, which was a top ten Sunday Times bestseller, Grandmothers, and two short story collections, the latest, The Boy Who Could See Death (Viking 2015). She was born in Liverpool and grew up in the Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent, where her parents were active members of the Communist Party. She will be talking about her new book, The Gardener (November 2021) in which two sisters buy a ramshackle cottage together and embark on a journey of history, hurt and the healing power of nature.