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Encore Careers! Readings and Conversation from Jane Austin, Janet Dean Knight and Yvie Holder

March 22 @ 7:00 pm


Join three women writers in conversation exploring ordinary lives against a backdrop of momentous global events, through poetry, fiction and memoir. We touch on themes of memory and identity, people on the margins, love, loss and history repeating itself.

Jane Austin’s new novel, Renegade tells the story of Justin seeking redemption in the ashes of youthful anarchism. From 1970s rebellion to revolution in Rojava and a family spinning out of control, this touches on the beating heart of our times.

Janet Dean Knight’s novel, The Peacemaker, a wartime family drama, launched at the York Literature Festival in March 2019. In her second novel Does She Love Us? three women strive for economic, social and sexual freedom in the 1960s. Set in the same period, her forthcoming poetry pamphlet Hiding tackles a distressing assault on a young naval cadet.

Yvie Holder, winner of the Helen Cadbury Poetry Prize 2021, weaves themes of landscape, migration, politics, loss and celebration in her widely published poetry. Her memoir, Have You been in This Country Long? which melds living testimony with poetic imagination, traces her father’s journey from the Caribbean to Yorkshire and her three parents’ struggles in 1950s Britain.

We ask: whose truth are we writing and does this change over time? Is writing about personal history a means of exposing the causes of war, displacement and oppression? Can memoir challenge racism and class inequality today as well as throw light on the past? We will discuss the routes to publication, exploring the opportunities and challenges in the market, and consider what motivates us to write and what benefits it might hold beyond publication.

Join us for a stimulating exchange on the joy and urgency of writing as women with a lifetime’s experience, pursuing ‘encore’ careers.

Tickets available here.


Hungate Reading Cafe
Hungate, York, YO1 7PA + Google Map