n quentin woolf

novelist; broadcaster


The Bethlem Gallery and Museum is situated in the original administration building at the site which has been radically redesigned to contain a permanent exhibition space, a temporary exhibition space for the Bethlem Museum’s collection and a contemporary art exhibition space for artists who have experienced mental difficulties.

In the vastly increased exhibition spaces, you will now be able to view centuries of significant historic artworks and objects together with inspiring contemporary works by current artists and service users. The new building is open to the public and free of charge.

The Bethlem Museum has been on site for 40 years in one small building and the Bethlem Gallery has been on site for 17 years as part of the Occupational Therapy department, both organisations have gained an international reputation for excellence in the field of arts in health. For the first time they are under one roof bringing together their specific areas of expertise to curate exhibitions informed and enlivened by the historical import of the collection and archives and new perspectives from artists and patients of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).

The new building secures the unique collections for future generations and enables the public to see more of the incredible artwork both from the historic collection and from current artists involved with our services today.

The new displays will be filled with the personal stories – both historic and contemporary – of those who have experienced mental health difficulties and will explore the long, controversial and often misunderstood history of Bethlem (founded 1247). Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind opens on 19 February 2015. Entry is free of charge to all visitors.

Themed gallery spaces will explore the reasons why people arrive at Bethlem, aiming to inspire discussion, debate and reflection on mental health issues which are as relevant today as they were in the past. The Museum will house significant art and historical artefacts, almost all of which will be on display for the first time, as well as works by current artists and hospital service users.

Among the highlights of the collections are paintings and drawings by Richard Dadd, Louis Wain and Jonathan Martin, each of whom was a former Bethlem or Maudsley Hospital patient; and the oldest objects in the collection, the world-renowned and imposing statues, ‘Raving and Melancholy Madness’ by Caius Gabriel Cibber, (c.1676) – which originally stood above the gates of the 17th century ‘Bedlam’ at Moorfields – will now take their place either side of the art deco staircase directly ahead of visitors entering the new Museum.

Notable paintings from the internationally renowned art collection include ‘The Maze’ by William Kurelek (1953), ‘Sketch of an idea for Crazy Jane’ by Richard Dadd (1855), ‘Numb’ by Lisa Biles (2009) and ‘Phrenology’ by Louis Wain (1911). Each of these will be on permanent display.

For out about visiting Bethlem Royal Hospital
You can explore a selection of images of the new building in the Museum and Gallery image library. If you would like high res versions for press use please contact richard.morley@slam.nhs.uk

Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road

Opening hours:
Wed-Fri, 1st and last Sat of month 10am-5pm.
Pre-booked groups Mon, Tue 10am-5pm

Nearest Station: Eden Park (Zone 5), direct trains from Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge then 15min walk or 356 bus.
or East Croydon, then 119, 194 or 198 bus.





Fri 11 July 2014
7.30 pm

Women of Mass Destruction returns to Rich Mix for another electrifying evening of new dance and physical theatre work by female choreographers, this time looking at the destruction of the natural world: ‘Destroying Mother Earth’.

Book now

Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda Book Launch, 8th April

bricklane bookshop, events

The celebrated Dutch writer Peter Buwalda will be at the shop on 8th April to launch the English translation of his acclaimed novel Bonita Avenue, a darkly hilarious tale of a model family’s disintegration.

“Great European art: the Dutchman Peter Buwalda explodes the bourgeois family saga. The narrative pyrotechnics alone are a tour de force.” — Die Zeit

“Peter Buwalda’s impressive family saga is a genuine page-turner, with a forceful, precise style. The author races with unstoppable speed towards the finish, without getting entangled in the numerous gripping narrative strands, without even steering out of the curve.” — Libris-Prize Jury Report, 2011

Read more about the book here.

WHAT: Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda Book Launch
WHEN: 8th April, 7pm
VENUE: Brick Lane Bookshop

The Death of the Poet by N Quentin Woolf Book Launch, 14th April

Long-time friend of the Brick Lane bookshop N Quentin Woolf’s novel The Death of the Poet, a dark, violent and romantic story spanning the 20th Century, will be published this April.

To celebrate, we’re hosting a launch party that promises to be one of the busiest yet, bringing together many of the writers and readers with whom NQW has worked. Get your hands on your copy in good company, hear excerpts from the book and meet some of the writers who regularly share their work at the bookshop’s literary groups.

It all kicks off on Monday 14th April 2014 at 7pm. Signed copies of the book will be available.

Entry free, but please email launch@nquentinwoolf.co.uk to reserve your place.

WHAT: The Death of the Poet by N Quentin Woolf Book Launch
WHEN: 14th April, 7pm
VENUE: Brick Lane Bookshop

The Brick Lane Bookshop

Come and visit our bookstall at these events at the Bishopsgate Institute

East End in Focus: Modern Magic Lantern Shows

Working in collaboration with East End culture blog Spitalfields Life, the Bishopsgate Institute returns to the glory days of Magic Lantern Shows that were such a popular feature of the Institute in its early years.

Three photographers, Mark Jackson, John Claridge and Phil Maxwell, who have documented the East End over the years, individually share their favourite images and stories with our Library and Archives Manager, Stefan Dickers.

Mark Jackson — 13th March 2014
John Claridge — 2nd April 2014
Phil Maxwell — 10th April 2014


£5 (£4 concessions) — Please buy your tickets from the Bishopsgate Institute, at www.bishopsgate.org.uk
020 7392 9200

The Bishopsgate Institute is at 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. Underground: Liverpool Street. Overground: Shoreditch High Street. Buses: 8, 26, 35, 42, 47, 48, 78, 149, 242, 344 and 388.

The Poetry Society announces the shortlist for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry

The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry seeks to recognise excellence in poetry, highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life.

Established in 2009 by Carol Ann Duffy, the £5,000 prize is funded with the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen. The award is one of the only prizes to acknowledge the wide range of work being produced by poets – not just in books, but beyond. Previous winners have included Kate Tempest, for her spoken word piece Brand New Ancientsin 2012, and Lavinia Greenlaw, for her poetry sound work Audio Obscura in 2011.

Artist Eileen Cooperjoins poets Sean Borodale and Denise Riley on the judging panel this year. Selecting from a wide range of work across all media, the judges have chosen a shortlist of five poets. The final winner will be announced at an awards reception in London on 28 March. Judge Sean Borodale said of the judging process:

“Shortlisting for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry has given us great pleasure, not least because we were able to agree amicably on which works should go forward. The range of approach and level of ambition made our job rewarding, and we looked for unconventional forms in our choices, but also for poetry which breathes and lives close to life. Sadly, as always, we have had to let many fine works slip the net and we would like to thank all the poets we considered for their remarkable poems. It is excellent to work with a prize which offers such broad margins to the definition of poetry and how it finds a shape in the world.”

The following poets have been shortlisted for the Award, for new poetry presented in the UK during 2013. Steve Ely, Chris McCabe, Maggie Sawkins, Hannah Silva and Zoë Skoulding.

For further information – The Poetry Society

Cambridge Literary Festival, Spring 1–6 April

Ali Smith’s selection of her favourite three debut novels of the year is one of the festival’s favourite fixtures – and this year is likely to be no exception, as three writers, all of whose books deal with issues of conflict and masculinity, discuss their first forays into fiction with Ali. Come along and meet N Quentin Woolf, (The Death of the Poet), Robert Allison (The Letter Bearer) and Anna Whitwham (Boxer Handsome).

06 Apr
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Divinity School Lecture Hall
St John’s College
St Johns Street
Cambridge, CB2 1TP

£7 / £8

You can book your tickets here

View map here

The Gift of Reading

Give the gift of reading this Christmas and bring books and reading for enjoyment to a young person’s life. Book-lovers everywhere appreciate the pleasure and opportunities that reading has brought them. Sadly children across the UK do not have books of their own, nor are they likely to receive any for Christmas this year.

Buy the Gift of Reading from the National Literacy Trust this Christmas for yourself or a loved one and they will send you an exclusive Suzy Goose Christmas card by author and illustrator Petr Horáček.

A gift of £7 means a child could choose a book of their own to keep, which for many will be the first they ever own.

A gift of £20 could fund all three books we give to each child who takes part in our reading project.

A gift of £60 means we could give three children three books each to keep.

Donate now at www.literacytrust.org.uk/giftofreading
Registered charity, no. 1116260 (Eng and Wales), SC042944 (Scot).

Dates announced for Spring 2014 Writers’ Mutual: Retreat

Following the success of several retreats in Bordeaux in 2013, dates have been announced for a further Writers’ Retreat in amongst the vineyards in Spring 2014.

For more details, please follow the link – writers’ mutual: retreat, 17th-23rd march 2014