January 10: Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Friday, January 10th, 2020

19:00 – 21:00

Oxford Quaker Meeting House

Political scientist and historian Iain McLean talks to astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell about life, the universe, and some other things in this Quaker conversation. Open to the public, all are welcome. Refreshments will be on sale. This is a fundraising event for the Oxford Quaker Meeting garden room project. Cost: £10 from the Quaker Meeting House office or £11.37 via Eventbrite using the following link:


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Jocelyn Bell Burnell is best known as the astrophysicist who discovered pulsars (rotating neutron stars) but did not share in the resulting Nobel Prize. She has always been remarkably un-bitter about that. Her generosity is further shown by her donation of a recent £2.3 million physics prize to the Institute of Physics to form a fund to assist female, minority, and refugee physics students. She has often spoken of her feelings of ‘outsider’ status as an Ulster Quaker doctoral student in Cambridge.

I know Jocelyn as a fellow Quaker and from her time as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), of which I am a fellow. We worked together on projects run by the RSE and the other UK national academies to explain the issues on devolution in the nations and territories of the UK.

In our talk, I hope we will open by reflecting on ‘outsider’ status at places like Oxford and Cambridge, because that is how I felt, too, when I first arrived from Scotland. I hope we will go on, as the advert for our talk says, to discuss life, the universe, and some other things

Iain McLean

One Week till “Sea Changes”

One week until Marina Jenkyns Productions will be bringing their show “Sea Changes” to the Oxford Friends Meeting House. Join us for a play which explores the seaside and living with loss. Performances are at 4pm & 7pm on the 22nd of November. Tickets are £10, £8 conc. Please also join us for a free Q&A at 5pm. Tickets may be bought on the door or online: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/marina-jenkyns-productions-27725792427

Poetry Reading: Lucy Newlyn, 23rd November

Saturday 23rd November, 2019

6.30 for 7pm till 9pm at the Meeting House, 43 St Giles

Free admission + fundraising collection for the Garden Room & Quaker Centre + refreshments

NEW COLLECTION! OXFORD LAUNCH! Lucy Newlyn will talk about creativity & read from her new collection, out this very November: VITAL STREAM  (Carcanet, 2019).

Most recently, Lucy Newlyn published an extra-ordinary book of autobiography plus poetry called Diary of a Bipolar Explorer  (Signal, 2018). She now lives in Cornwall, and is a fellow Emeritus of St Edmund Hall in Oxford. Her forthcoming  The Craft of Poetry, will be published by Yale University Press. Her William and Dorothy  Wordsworth, ‘All in Each Other’ ( OUP, 2013) and Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry, An anthology of contemporary poems and critical reflections on Edward Thomas (Enitharmon, 2014) are riveting reads. Now we look forward to this year’s book of      poems,  Vital Stream.

Poetry Reading: Fiona Sampson, 16th November

Saturday 16th November, 2019

6.30 for 7pm till 9pm at the Meeting House, 43 St Giles

Free admission + fundraising collection for the Garden Room & Quaker Centre + refreshments

On Saturday the 16th of November, Fiona Sampson will read from her forthcoming collection: COME DOWN (Little, Brown, 2020), an exploration of belonging to place & to a family.

Fiona is a leading British poet and writer. She has published in 37 languages including many books of poetry,  studies of poetry and its many forms of making and a critically acclaimed biography In Search of Mary Shelley (2018). This was a Radio 4 Book of the Week in January 2018. Fiona has won numerous awards. Her collections include Common Prayer  (2007), Rough Music (2010), and The Catch (2016).  She is a prolific broadcaster and critic, and now Professor of Poetry at the University of Roehampton. Among her recent books, The Spectator called her exploration of Limestone Country (2017) ‘bewitching’, and it was a Guardian book of the year and a Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard Pick of the summer.