Birkbeck’s Liane Strauss teaching poets to perform in public at Whitechapel word festival

Birkbeck lecturer and poet Liane Strauss

Birkbeck lecturer and poet Liane Strauss - Credit: Birkbeck College

Budding poets can learn how to perform their compositions in public and listen to real East Enders read their own work.

The WriteIdea Festival opens on Friday with public readings as part of a five-month series of events organised at Whitechapel’s Idea Store by the London University’s Birkbeck College.

Anglo-American poet Liane Strauss (pictured), a Birkbeck creative writing lecturer, is on hand to help people perform their poems at a workshop starting at 6.15pm, followed by readings in front of an audience.

Works by Birkbeck students and others taking part will draw on their imagery, rhetoric, attitude and rhythm from urban life in the East End of the 21st century.

A seasonal literary theme is also planned next month when Birkbeck’s Victorian Studies senior lecturer Dr Nicola Bown discusses how Charles Dickens’ best-known work, A Christmas Carol, created the idea of a traditional family Yultide.

Dickens’ story captured the imagination of Victorian Britain From the moment it was published in 1843. Santa Claus, Christmas cards and crackers were invented around the same time—but it was his novel that made the idea popular that Christmas is a family celebration. The two-hour talk is planned on December 13 at 6.45pm.

More events are on the cards in the New Year at the Idea Store when Birkbeck academics explore thought-provoking topics such as local lives in the queer metropolis and women’s work in the 21st century.

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The Ideas Store is in the Whitechapel Road, a few doors along from Whitechapel Underground station.