Opening Hours


Tuesday              10am to 6pm

Wednesday         10am to 6pm

Thursday             10am to 7pm

Friday                  10am to 7pm

Saturday              12 noon to 4pm

Sunday                12 noon to 4pm


Tuesday               10 to 5 pm

Friday                   10 to 5pm

Saturday:              12 to 4pm

Children can borrow books and DVDs during Main Library Hours.

RHYME TIME  - watch the website for updates. 

Bank Holidays : LIBRARY CLOSED

14 January 2022

William Blake - Burning Bright with Ruth Rosen 27th Jan 22

Join us for our first event in 2022 on Thursday 27th January at 7.30pm

Ruth Rosen returns following her much acclaimed "Bright Star" about John Keats. This time, after a performance at Chichester Theatre, she brings us her spellbinding "Burning Bright" on William Blake, one of Britain’s greatest artists.

Poet, painter, engraver and prophet, he lived a life of obscurity and poverty amid accusations of madness.

Using only Blake’s own words – from his letters, poems and prose – leading poetry and prose performer Ruth Rosen takes us on an inspiring, moving and sometimes startling journey through the extraordinary mind of Blake’s visionary genius. And it is a revelation

Tickets:  £10 available from the Library (020 7431 1266) and on line from -  link :


In the event of cancellation (sadly all to frequent these days) we will offer to refund the £10 ticket price.

Please note that we will be reducing the seating capacity to allow better social distancing. Masks are mandatory in the Library at all times.


About Ruth Rosen


"One of England's leading poetry and prose performers." – British Council

Since leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company Ruth Rosen has established a unique international reputation for her highly individualised literary portraits and has appeared at many major national and international festivals and theatres. She has worked in collaboration and in performance with many writers and, in particular, with  Harold Pinter and Michael Holroyd.

Ruth’s solo shows and dramatised readings, which she has devised and researched herself, are based on the work of a wide range of writers and other personalities. These include Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Bronte, Lou Andreas-Salome, John Keats, William Blake, James Joyce, Gandhi, Emily Bronte, George Sand, Elizabeth Bishop, the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, and Scottish poet W.S. Graham.  She has also devised and performed a series of lunchtime performances at Tate Britain, inspired by and performed amongst the paintings of Turner, William Blake and Burne-Jones.

Her frequent National Theatre Platform Performances include, at the Olivier Theatre, the poems of W.S. Graham with Harold Pinter; and The Centenary of Anna Akhmatova; The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas; “You Will Hear Thunder”, a Celebration of the life of Akhmatova written for her by D.M. Thomas; Bright Star: the poems and letters of John Keats; and Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed The World.

Her current solo shows are T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”; the BBC’s “Nations Favourite Poems”; “Bright Star” based on the poems and letters of John Keats, and “Burning Bright” the poetry, prose, letters and other writings of William Blake. ‘Daggers Drawn’ – from the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and Sonnets and Letters of Michelangelo – is in collaboration with Martin Kemp.

Recent shows include:

“Anselm Kiefer...Where Words Catch Fire”: Kiefer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

William Blake: “Man Without A Mask”. Blake Exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Petworth Literary Festival; Felpham Blake Festival; Oxford Literary Fesitval

Keats: “Bright Star”. Keats-Shelley Museum, Rome; Blenheim Palace Literary Festival; Ilkley Literature Festival; Isle of White Festival; National Theatre, London

“Go Thou To Rome”. Keats’ Documentary Film, Keats-Shelley Museum, Rome

“Leonardo: In His Own Words”. Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition, Science Museum, London

Poems of Charles Simic. Maestro Arts, London

Don Quixote. Narration, Jerusalem Music Centre


From the British Press:


“She has cornered the market in poetry reading”.   The Sunday Times

“The Audience was spell-bound.”    The Poetry Society

“Miss Rosen’s sensitive reading filtered the rare poetry in an unforgettable way.”    Birmingham Post

“An inspired theatrical performance of great power and such tones that all sense of time and space is utterly lost. The evening undoubtedly belongs to Rosen.”    Time Out

“Ruth Rosen’s performance brought shimmering critical notices.”     Sunday Telegraph

“Oxford audiences responded to this event in such large numbers that as many as were admitted had to be turned away for lack of space. For us lucky ones this was a true celebration of a great artist.”         Oxford Times

“Ruth Rosen combines a commanding presence with great sensitivity and becomes quite transfixing, the keystone of a production hypnotic in its intensity.”   Edinburgh Festival Times

“The compelling nature of the material made for a surprisingly enthralling hour in the theatre.”     Times Literary Supplement

“This dedicated actress held the entire house enthralled. It was unforgettable.”       Birmingham Post

“Poetry has always been at the very centre of Ruth Rosen’s life and she is a first rate speaker of it.”      Harold Pinter

“A thrilling tour de force”     Director, John Soanes Museum

“Her range and timing is superb….a real tour de force.”     Oxford Daily


With many thanks to our supporters of events in the Library: