The Philip Larkin Society is pleased to announce exciting plans for a year long celebration of Larkin’s centenary in 2022.
Under the banner of ‘Larkin100’ we intend to work with partner organisations and supporters to encourage and promote the development of a broad range of creative events, exhibitions and performances throughout the year of 2022 and across the British Isles as a way of celebrating and building upon Larkin’s literary achievements and legacy.
Alongside our current partners, the University of Hull, the Hull History Centre and Hull City Council, we have begun to envisage an artistic celebration of Larkin in relation to place, inspired by his achievements in the areas of literature, jazz, photography and librarianship.
The complex notion of ‘place’ for Philip Larkin will provide a powerful and creative theme for ‘Larkin 100’, enabling a distinct focus for national celebration as well as a practical means of sustaining Larkin related activity across the entire year. We hope this will include all the major places associated with Philip Larkin, in particular those where he lived and worked, but also envisage smaller celebrations in places which he travelled to, holidayed in, or did business at (some of which may, as yet, be unaware of a Larkin connection) which also held significance for his life and creative achievements.
Our intention is to build upon the major successes of the ‘Larkin 25’ festival in 2010, which marked the 25th anniversary of Larkin’s death and which generated much new work inspired by Larkin’s own creativity in the areas of poetry, drama, film, dance, visual arts, song, photography, public sculpture and art. More recently, the highly acclaimed ‘New Eyes Each Year’ exhibition at the University of Hull which took place during Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017 successfully introduced Larkin to new and younger audiences and helped to generate a new creative momentum which we hope to sustain. We also anticipate a growing interest in Larkin during his home city of Coventry’s year in the cultural limelight in 2021 and, potentially, as a natural part of their legacy activity.
Plans for 2022 are at an early stage and we are highly conscious of the need to involve others who would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with us or who would like support this initiative in some other way. Our intention is to seek external funding through the Arts Council and the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund. We are therefore asking for expressions of interest and support and, above all, ideas for potential events and promotions of Larkin across the broad spectrum of the arts and across the country.
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