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The Independent Culture

Actor Barrie Rutter discusses Shakespeare. Thurs 8pm, Bradford Central Library, 01274 753600. Tickets pounds 5/pounds 3.


Harry Ricketts reads from his biography of Rudyard Kipling, The Unforgiving Minute. Thurs 7pm, Waterstone's, St Margaret's St, 01227 456343. Tickets pounds 3.


Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx, will read from his new novel The Unburied. Wed 7pm, James Thin, South Bridge, 0131 556 6743.


Poet Brendan Kennelly, praised for "a voice and a vision ... unique in contemporary poetry" (Michael Longley) reads from his new Bloodaxe collection The Man Made of Rain. Tues 7.30pm at the Voice Box, RFH, SE1, 0171 960 4242. Tickets pounds 4/pounds 2.50.

The Royal Festival Hall is beginning a series of talks throughout Jan and Feb, focusing on emblematic characters in literature. This week, Michelene Wandor, playwright, poet and novelist will be discussing The Wandering Jew. Other events in

the series will explore the figures of Faust, Don Juan, Don Quixote, Circe, Heathcliff and Guinevere. Thurs 7.30pm at the Voice Box, RFH, SE1, 0171 960 4242. Tickets pounds 4/pounds 2.50.

Nigel Watts, author of The Way of Love, a fictionalised life of Rumi, the 13th century Sufi poet, reads from his novel at an evening dedicated to Rumi with Sufi poetry and music, at the British Library, St Pancras. Mon 25, 6.15pm, pounds 5/pounds 3.50. 0171 412 7222

There will be a performance of Byron, the Poet: his life, told through his poetry on Sat at the National Portrait Gallery, WC2. Lecture Room, 3pm, tickets available from the information desk, 0171 312 2463.

Coinciding with the publication of Bittersweet: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Women's Poetry (The Women's Press), Apples and Snakes presents a evening of readings from Patience Agbabi, Bernadine Evaristo, Janet Kofi-Tsekpo and Raman Mundair, hosted by the anthology's editor Karen McCarthy. Fri 9pm, Battersea Arts Centre, SW11, 0171 223 2223. Tickets pounds 5/pounds 4. Apples and Snakes info on 0181 692 0393.