Leads to Leeds is a project that aims to bring together artists with a Leeds connection, pairing writers up and starting creative dialogues between them. It was inspired by the wonderful ‘Like Starlings’ which pairs poets up to write new work in collaboration. Leads to Leeds is the Yorkshire take on this fantastic project. If you call Leeds home, work in Leeds, come from Leeds or just love Leeds, we’d be interested to hear from you. The collaborative work from the pairings will be available to read here.
The project is run from The School of English at The University of Leeds, but you don’t have to be a member of the University (or any university) to apply to take part. My name’s Helen Mort and I’m working as a Cultural Fellow at the University for 2 years, encouraging projects like this one. As part of Leads to Leeds I’ll be taking part in some dialogues myself, writing work in response to material from the University’s Special Collections.
In my first week at the University of Leeds, I opened a book called ‘Time and Place’ by Maurice Beresford, Professor of Economic History here from 1959 until his retirement. I don’t normally read books about economics (or history for that matter), but I was hooked: it started with a brilliant epigraph from a masque presented to Queen Elizabeth in 1601:
Enter Time and Place
Place in a partie-coloured roabe, lyke the brickes of the howse.
Time with yellowe haire and a greene roabe, and an hour glass not running, and his winges clipte.
‘Arre you ready, Place? Time is redie.’
In the lectures collected in the book, Beresford shows how time acts on place and how place influences time, particularly with reference to how Leeds has grown as a city. Time and place are always in conversation with one another. And time and place are what bring us all together, however briefly in Leeds. If they’re busy having their dialogue, why shouldn’t we have our own?
E-mail H.R.Mort@leeds.ac.uk and tell me a bit about you and your creative writing. We’ll do our best to pair you up with another writer.