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13 - 15 September



A weekend dedicated to Philip Larkin, one of Britain’s best-loved poets. Our series of events explore his wit and abiding sadness, his world-weary cynicism, his crustiness and his warmth, and his way of making the ordinary seem like something to aspire to.


CLICK on each event to find out more and for booking details



Exhibition: Thursday 12 September - Tuesday 24 September (free to attend)

Philip Larkin was an enthusiastic and committed photographer, experimenting with delayed action shutters, cropping and enlarging images and gathering his pictures into thematically ordered albums. This exhibition was curated by John Osborne, distinguished writer and co-founder of the Philip Larkin Society; and has generously been loaned to us by the Hull History Centre and combines family snaps with mature forays into portraiture, landscapes, cityscapes and many self portraits.


CURATOR TALK: Saturday 14 September, 11:00am - 12:00pm (no booking required)

Mark Haworth-Booth discusses the prints in our Larkin photography exhibition with Kate Romano

Mark Haworth-Booth served as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1970-2004 and, as senior curator of photographs, helped to build up its great collection of photography. He has curated many exhibitions and acted as a consultant on the BBC’s acclaimed television series The Genius of Photography and he curated, with Jeu de Paume, Paris and the National
Portrait Gallery in London, a centenary retrospective of the pioneering photographer Camille Silvy (1834-1910). A widely published award-winning writer and researcher, he served as the first Visiting Professor of Photography at the University of the Arts London and in 2005 was appointed OBE for his services to museums.


THE SUNDAY SESSIONS: Sunday 15 September, 11:00am - 12:00pm (no booking required)

Drop in for a quiet hour, listening to recordings of Philip Larkin reading 26 of his poems whilst perusing his photographs in the exhibition. The Sunday Sessions consists of two tapes recorded by Larkin in Hull in 1980, reportedly on a Sunday, with sound engineer John Weeks. The tapes contain some of Larkin's best known poems and were lost for over two decades. Since their rediscovery, they have been the subject of widespread media attention.

All welcome, drop-in, no need to book




Friday 13 September, 7:45pm - 9:00pm

Jonathan Gunthorpe, reader | Ian Buckle, piano

The poetry of Philip Larkin is much loved for its piquant mix of lyricism and discontent. 40 years after his death, Larkin's darkly humorous view of human foibles and failings has lost none of its power to provoke and delight. Its bittersweet and nostalgic qualities are present in the English piano literature by the poet's contemporaries, and Ian Buckle's programme intersperses a selection of piano miniatures with Jonathan Gunthorpe’s reading of the poetry to evoke a view of England created by one of the country's leading post-war writers. Poems include An Arundel Tomb, Toads, Dockery and SonAubade and Church Going; with music by Frank Bridge, Benjamin Britten, Eric Coates, John Ireland and others.



Saturday 14 September, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Philip Pullen

In this illustrated talk, writer and researcher Philip Pullen explores the way in which the poet’s use of drawings, sketches and doodles reveals aspects of his personality, his relationship with the key people in his life and, above all, his creative genius.

Philip Pullen is a trustee of The Philip Larkin Society and Chair of Larkin100, a charitable organisation set up to promote and coordinate the Larkin centenary in 2022. He is a Larkin writer and researcher and has an intimate knowledge of the Larkin Archive at the Hull History Centre. Born and brought up in Coventry, his research interests and publications have focused on Larkin’s family life and in particular the relationship he had with his mother, Eva Larkin. He is currently working as co-editor for a book featuring Larkin’s drawings, planned for publication in early 2025



Sunday 15 September, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Jonathan Gunthorpe & Kate Romano, narrators

Larkin’s Blues is a story about two of Larkin’s great loves; his relationship with jazz (faithful, deeply rewarding) and his relationship with Monica Jones (complex, evasive). Words poured from Larkin’s pen in his critiques and correspondence, improvised and uninhibited; and the script draws on his crisp, penetrating jazz reviews, and his letters to Monica; sharp, witty, cruel and touching. Kate Romano’s new semi-staged production for the Granary draws these two life-long love affairs together, illustrated with a vintage collage of Larkin’s own photographic images and a soundtrack of original jazz recordings from the 20s and 30s including Bix Beiderbecke, Art Tatum and Count Basie.


Stapleford Granary would like to acknowledge the kind support of the Philip Larkin Society and the Hull History Centre. 

Original artwork of Philip Larkin by Dan Williams.