Internationally acclaimed artist and writer, Edmund de Waal, will give City of Literature lecture in Nottingham

Thursday, 28 September 2023

The renowned artist and writer, Edmund de Waal, will deliver a free public lecture in Nottingham next month.

The City of Literature lecture, delivered in partnership with the University of Nottingham, aims to attract world-leading authors to the city. It provides a platform for leading writers and thinkers to share their ideas and promote Nottingham’s wide-ranging expertise on international literature, literacy, and the wider creative economy. This year, it will also celebrate the start of a four-year programme of investment in Nottingham’s libraries.

Edmund de Waal’s UNESCO City of Literature lecture is titled ‘From somewhere else: libraries, stories, pots’, In this illustrated talk, Edmund explores how his own family story of migration and exile has influenced his work as an artist. He will focus on projects in Vienna and Paris, and on his Library of Exile - a library containing books in English and in translation by those who have had to flee persecution.

De Waal, who was born in Nottingham, is an internationally renowned ceramic artist with large scale installations at many of the world’s most famous museums, heritage sites and diverse spaces. He became an acclaimed writer after publishing his family memoir, ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance’, in 2010. The book became an international bestseller, winning the 2011 Costa Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the Galaxy National Book Award for New Writer of the Year, and the Independent Bookshop Week’s ‘Book of the Decade’ in 2016. In 2021, an exhibition based on the memoir took place at The Jewish Museum in New York, designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. De Waal published his second book, ‘The White Road’ in 2015 - the same year that he won the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction by Yale University. In 2021, he published ‘Letters to Camondo’, a series of haunting letters written during lockdown, and he was awarded a CBE for his services to art. 

I am so honoured to be giving this year’s UNESCO lecture in Nottingham, the city of my birth, exploring the ways in which stories move through families and across the world.
Edmund de Waal, Artist & Writer

The lecture will be introduced by Professor Shearer West, Vice Chancellor at the University of Nottingham.

We are proud to be hosting Nottingham’s fourth annual City of Literature lecture. The event is an ideal opportunity to celebrate Nottingham’s rich literary heritage and support its thriving writing community. I am especially delighted to welcome Edmund de Waal back to his birth city this year to hear his reflections on a remarkable literary career.
Professor Shearer West, Vice Chancellor, University of Nottingham
We’re delighted that Edmund de Waal is delivering this year’s lecture and will share his reflections on his work as artist and writer. The evening will illustrate the power of libraries and books to bring people together, share stories, languages and dialogue. I’m pleased that we are once again partnering with the University of Nottingham on this flagship event in our calendar.
Hannah Trevarthen, Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

The lecture will take place in the Long Gallery at Nottingham Castle on Tuesday 24th October at 6pm. The event is open to everyone and free to attend, but guests must book tickets via Ticketsource.

Story credits

Image copyright: Tom Jamieson

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