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Poverty and the pandemic: in conversation with Stu Hennigan

by The Leeds Library


When lockdown came in 2020, Leeds librarian Stu Hennigan volunteered as a food-parcel delivery driver. His trips through the eerily-deserted streets took him to some of the poorest communities in the city. Literally a lifeline for people who had been living on an economic knife-edge for years, Ghost Signs is his first-hand account of the poverty he encountered. Having already received national coverage from Prospect magazine and 3:AM among others, Ghost Signs is essential reading.

Stu Hennigan is a writer, poet and musician from the north of England, currently based in Leeds. His book Ghost Signs: poverty and the pandemic, published by Bluemoose in June 2022, was shortlisted for Best Non-fiction at the 2022 Bookseller’s Association Awards and was listed by Blackwells as one of their books of the year. His short fiction, essays and poetry have been published in print and online by Lune: the journal of literary misrule, Massive Overheads, Lunate, Visual Verse and Expat Lit. He is currently mid-way through the third draft of a new novel, and works as Senior Librarian for Stock and Reader Development at Leeds Libraries. You can find him on Twitter @stuhennigan.

Annie Warren is an editor, writer, translator, and stand-up comedian based in Nottingham. She was legal editor for Thomson Reuters, is a travel editor for the Rough Guides series, and a freelance editor at Northern indie Bluemoose.

A note about accessibility – Unfortunately, our Grade II* listed building is not currently fully accessible. We have a stair lift from the ground floor foyer to the first floor but are unable to install a through-floor lift due to the building’s historic status. Please email us on enquiries@theleedslibrary.org.uk if you have any questions around access, and we will do everything that we can to accommodate you.

The Leeds Library is committed to making its building and collections accessible to everyone in our current capital building works project The Next Chapter Project. To find out more, please visit the website HERE.

Date and Time

Sat, February 25, 2023

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


The Leeds Library

18 Commercial Street
Leeds, England LS1 6AL United Kingdom

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