The ever-more-serious UK comedian Russell Brand will deliver this year’s Reading Agency lecture, “‘a manifesto on reading” and the third lecture since the inception of the series in 2012, as well as the first one to be open to ticket-holding members of the public. “The Reading Agency lecture is a fundraising event, proceeds from which support the charities’ core mission, to get and keep the nation reading,” as The Reading Agency’s materials declare. Previous speakers in the series were Jeanette Winterson and Neil Gaiman, who gave a highly praised talk also on the importance of reading.
Brand couched the theme of the lecture in his own characteristic terms, and as it happens, highlighting the topic of writing, rather than reading: “Writing is the most intimate medium. Right there in the brain, in the swamp of fear and desire. I like splashing about in there, stirring up sediment, doing the breaststroke. In this lecture I will try and drag this metaphor out for an hour.”
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency responded:
We are delighted Russell Brand has agreed to deliver the third annual Reading Agency Lecture, a platform we designed to stimulate debate and discussion about the transformative power of reading in public and in private life. Delivering life-changing reading opportunities to individuals and communities across the country in partnership with public libraries is at the heart of our work at The Reading Agency.
The lecture will be delivered at the Logan Hall of London’s Institute of Education on November 25th, 2014.