24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 00:59

Norwich named as UNESCO City of Literature

Category: England

Published: 10th May 2012 12:48:45

Norwich has been named as England's first City of Literature by the United Nation's organisation, UNESCO.

The Writers' Centre Norwich (WCN) said Norwich was where the first book in English by a woman and the first provincial newspaper were published.

Author Ian McEwan, who backed the bid by WCN, was on the UK's first MA Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

WCN is to open a £7m International Centre for Writing in 2016.

Writers have known for centuries that Norwich is a dreamy city”

It is the sixth city to be given the title, after Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin, and Reykjavik.

Mr McEwan said: "Literature has deep roots in the beautiful city of Norwich and it was a natural first choice for UNESCO.

"I'm happy too for personal reasons - Norwich is where my own writing life began.

"Writers have known for centuries that Norwich is a dreamy city."

Norwich's accolade as the first UK City of Refuge for persecuted writers also formed part of the bid, along with the fact its library is the busiest and most used in the country for each of the past five years.

Christian mystic Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) spent much of her life in a cell in St Julian's Church in the city, where she wrote Revelations of Divine Love and was the first woman to be published in English.

City poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547) gave the world its first blank verse and sonnet form, later used by Shakespeare, and Thomas Paine, born 30 miles south of Norwich in 1737, influenced the American Constitution with his Rights of Man.

The UEA hosts two international literary festivals a year and its creative writing course centre is one of the most famous in the world.

Writers who have worked, studied and taught in the city include Kazuo Ishiguro, Angela Carter, Lorna Sage, Rose Tremain and Ali Smith.

WCN said the accreditation will put Norwich on the "world's literary map for generations to come" and boost tourism, international connections, and interest in the literary arts.

The status will be celebrated in June when Nobel Laureate Professor J.M. Coetzee, Michael Ondaatje, Jeanette Winterson and other writers attend a World's Literature festival in the city.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Norwich named as UNESCO City of Literature [Online] (Updated 10th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427692/Norwich-named-as-UNESCO-City-of-Literature [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Griff Rhys Jones withdraws from Cardiff chancellor role

    Griff Rhys Jones has withdrawn from becoming Cardiff University's new chancellor just two weeks after an embarrassing debacle which saw his appointment halted at the last minute.
  • 'Friendly' drone on dog leash takes off

    Drones are becoming more common in our skies, performing a variety of tasks, from taking photos to monitoring crops and potentially even delivering broadband.
  • Michael Phelps: Olympic swimmer set for competitive return

    Eighteen-time US Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps says concerns about weight gain were behind his decision to return to the sport.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Actress Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    US actress Jodie Foster has married her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, the actress' representative confirms.
  • Actress Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    US actress Jodie Foster has married her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, the actress' representative confirms.