The Reporter
Issue 486, 25 November 2002
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Lottery, literature and birthday parties


A free evening of readings by nine contemporary poets, including senior lecturer in English Dr John Whale, is being held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the literary journal, Stand. The evening will also include musical performances, displays showing Stand’s varied history and the launch of its anniversary issue. Other poets reading their work are Jon Glover, R F Langley, E A Markham, Rodney Pybus, Michael Symmons Roberts, Anne Stevenson, Jeffrey Wainwright and Matthew Welton.

Jon Silkin founded Stand in London with £5 redundancy he received after trying to organise some of his fellow manual workers. The magazine’s title was intended to summarise its aims: a stand against injustice and oppression and a stand for the role that the arts – poetry and fiction in particular – should and could play in that fight.

Stand first came to Leeds in 1960 when Jon Silkin was both Gregory Fellow in poetry and studying for his first English degree at the University. The magazine later moved to Newcastle on Tyne, but on Jon Silkin's death in 1997, it became based in the school of English as an independent company with close links to University staff. With the appointment of John Whale as one of the editors and with regular contributions from other staff as poets, translators and critics, this link is now very strong.

Professor Shirley ChewOther literary journals linked to the school will also be exhibiting at the event. First published in 2001, Moving Worlds has recently won a £22,000 lottery grant to extend its readership. The journal’s central concern is the ‘transcultural’, the movement of cultures across national boundaries. It publishes creative work and criticism, literary and visual work, in English and translations into English. General editor, Professor Shirley Chew (pictured left) said: “Although still young, the journal is part of a long history at Leeds in Commonwealth and postcolonial studies. It took a lot of enthusiasm, hard work and planning to launch the publication, and we’re very pleased the Lottery funding will allow us to take it to wider audiences.”

The Stand birthday party takes place at the Workshop Theatre on November 29 at 6.30pm. Spaces are limited. For more information on the magazine, or the event, email


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