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Home>York Literature Shorts

From original poetry and prose, to discussions about the value of poetry and individual works, University of York staff and students provide inspiration through short films.

My reading list

Masters student Rumana shares her favourite books linked to her research into Islamic marriage law and illegal marriage contract in Pakistan, including The Marriage Clock and Hijabistan.

Is poetry important?

Poet and Director of the Centre for Modern Studies Dr JT Welsch asks whether poetry is important and what it can do.

Tea with our Grandmothers

Lecturer Dr Shazia Jagot discusses ‘Tea with our Grandmothers’ by Warsan Shire from her collection Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth.

City of York in Literature

Student Navin explores York in literature and explains why the city has influenced countless generations of writers, including Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe and Kate Atkinson.

Desi Delicacies

Enjoy an excerpt from Desi Delicacies, a collection of essays, short stories, recipes and illustrations, with the anthology's editor Claire Chambers, Professor of Global Literature.


Two Trees

Emeritus Professor Derek Attridge explores Don Paterson’s poem ‘Two Trees’ from Paterson’s 2009 collection Rain.


Incorporating lines in Urdu from The Desert of Solitude by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Masters student Rumana presents her own original poem.

Castles from Cobwebs

Lecturer JA Mensah reads an extract from her debut novel Castles from Cobwebs, an exploration of memory, race, mothers and the fractured self.  

Irises (for Violet)

Writer Dr JT Welsch reads his poem Irises, which tells the story behind Van Gogh’s famous painting of a field of irises, re-imagining it as a children’s story.

Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

Lecturer in 18th-century Literature Dr Deborah Russell reads a passage from Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe’s Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne.


Poet and Royal Literary Fund Fellow Penny Boxall reads her poem Discernment, inspired by the travel we are all longing to do.

Names for the Sea in 1453 and Goldboru by the Sea

Rebecca, a PhD student and Poet in Residence at the Hull Maritime Museum, reads two poems written in response to the Hull Estuary, Names for the Sea in 1453 and Goldboru by the Sea.