Nottingham

Nottingham hopes to become United Nations City of Literature

Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe
Image caption Writers Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe all had connections to Nottingham

Nottingham hopes to celebrate its literary past by becoming a United Nations City of Literature.

Writers, experts and the city council have come together to submit an application.

It aims to celebrate Nottingham's past - which includes links to Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe - as well as current and future writers.

Other cities which already hold the title include Edinburgh, Dublin and Norwich.

'What would Manchester do?'

Performance poet Andrew Graves - who goes by the pen name Mullet Proof - said Nottingham's literary scene needed celebrating and nurturing.

"The one thing that frustrates me about Nottingham [is that] we don't make enough of our literary heritage," he said.

"I sometimes lie awake at night and wonder, 'what would Manchester do if they had DH Lawrence or Alan Sillitoe?' I just don't think we make enough of it."

Shelagh Gallagher, of Bromley House Library, an independent subscription-based library, said it would encourage work in schools and inspire children, helping to combat Nottingham's traditionally low literacy rates.

"The potential for activities [if we get it] is marvellous," she said.

"We want people and children in Nottingham to see they are part of a city of literature and to find out about our heritage. But it is more about the next generation, ways of increasing literacy through enjoying being part of Nottingham's heritage."

The bid has to be submitted to the United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) by March next year.

There are currently seven Cities of Literature - Edinburgh, Dublin, Norwich, Melbourne, Iowa City, Reykjavík and Krakow.

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