In 2019, using the British Library exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War as a starting point, poets Kayo ChingonyiRachel Bower and Joe Kriss were each paired with a branch library in Sheffield. Interacting with library visitors and local people through poetic journalism, listening workshops and pop-up interventions where local stories inspired the new poetry written.

Digesting History is the finale event to celebrate the culmination of work that has taken place across Sheffield over the last two years. Originally planned for March 2020 as an Anglo-Saxon-inspired theatrical feast in Sheffield Central Library with live poetry and performance. After the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, Sheffield Libraries found itself supporting local communities as a front-line service, and branch libraries – including Firth Park, which was at the heart of the project – became a food bank outlet. In response to this, the commissioned poetry has found a new home in a film inspired by Sheffield's incredible communities and the outstanding efforts of foodbanks across the city and brought together by award-winning film-maker Eelyn Lee.

Attendees will be invited to join us around the digital dinner table to hear guest speakers explore how the beginnings of English language have impacted Sheffield’s dialect, how the formation of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms prompts thinking about national identity today and how the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of libraries to their communities. 

Donations from the event will go to Open Kitchen Social Club, a community programme that provides food and support for destitute asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and those in need.

All of this will be taking place online from 8PM on 25th February. Are you interested in taking part? Find out more and sign up for your free ticket via the link below.

Book your free ticket here