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GUY ROBERTSON – with good news on ageing!


Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
12.30pm ~ 12th May ~ £8 (£7)


When does ageing, or what’s commonly called ‘getting older’ begin? At 30, 40, 50, 60 . . . or even after more years? Or is it any age marked by when the jokes begin? Can getting older really be a positive experience? Apparently, yes, it can!  
The good news is, you can make a difference to your own ageing process. Research shows that how we think about getting older can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing in later life.
The traditional approach tends to be passive, fatalistic and rather downbeat. A new positive approach is very different. It understands that our thinking, the workings of our mind, can have a significant impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing. 
Life coach, erstwhile journal editor, and author of a major scoping study of Transitions in Later Life, Guy Robertson has worked in numerous roles in the field of ageing for over a quarter of a century and is a passionate proponent of the need to develop more positive approaches to ageing. His new book is The Ten Steps of Positive Ageing.

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We may know how old we are but not how young we can be. 

The lost words of Swindon and Wiltshire: an evening of locally inspired folk songs and traditional tales.

Central Library
Regent Circus, Swindon SN1 1QG
Tel: 01793 466454
7pm ~ 12th May ~ £5

A special journey in stories and songs inspired by the wonderful book Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris. Told through music, song, and storytelling, the rich vocabulary of words lost and stories long forgotten from Swindon and its surrounds will be explored. Will include folk songs and tales with a twist, featuring the words of Alfred Williams, words in Anglo-Saxon, local Faery lore, and other similar delights. This is a night that should not be missed, if only because it will not be repeated!
Hosted by storyteller John Row, with songs by Sgo, Canute’s Plastic Army and Chantelle Smith, and stories by guest tale tellers.


HELEN TAYLOR – on why women read fiction.
Presented in association with Swindon Mum’s the Word Writing Group


Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
6.30pm ~ 12th May ~ £8 (£7)

Women readers are key to the future of fiction, the glue for a literate society. Women treasure the chance to read alone, but have also gregariously shared reading experiences and memories with others. For many, reading novels and short stories enables them to escape and to spread their wings both intellectually and emotionally.  
Why are women the main buyers and readers of fiction, members of book clubs, and attendees at literary festivals? How have evolving attitudes towards sexual relations changed female readers’ relationships with romantic and erotic fiction? Why do certain works of fiction by Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë resonate with British women readers?  
These are just some of the questions Helen Taylor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter, seeks to answer in her new book Why Women Read Fiction. 


DOUBLE TICKET for Helen Taylor and Clare Hunter ~ £13

CLARE HUNTER – on the world through the eye of a needle.


Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
8pm ~ 12th May ~ £8 (£7)

What is the language of sewing? How do we hear and see it? What can it tell us, about ourselves, our forebears, and the patterns of life?
For millennia, women and marginalised communities either unable or forbidden to write or speak out for themselves, have used sewing to document their thoughts and experiences and even to transmit subversive messages.
Award-winning textile artist and writer, Clare Hunter, says this. ‘Sewing is a way to mark our existence on cloth: patterning our place in the world, voicing our identity, sharing something of ourselves with others and leaving the indelible evidence of our presence in stitches held fast by our touch.’ Her new book Threads of Life is a blend of history and memoir, a book about the need we all have to tell our human stories.
From political propaganda in medieval France to secret treason in Tudor England, and from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland, all life is in its pages.   .


Artswords, Swindon’s Literature Development Programme, is alive and well.

It works to organise, encourage, support, and run creative, entertaining, and educational word-based activities in town. These include the following:
SWINDON ARTSWORDS READING GROUP – meets monthly to enjoy good book talk! • Regular READING GROUPS – in libraries and elsewhere! • A WRITERS’ CAFE, LIFE WRITING GROUPS, and MUM’S THE WORD – happen regularly, a chance to meet other writers, get guidance, be inspired, and write! • MENTORING SERVICE for READERS and WRITERS – available on request!
For further information on any of the above, or any reading or writing related matters, contact Matt Holland on 01793 771080 or email 
ARTSWORDS is funded and supported by Arts Council England South West, Swindon Borough Council, and Swindon Libraries Service.

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