Worlds, the UK’s premier gathering for international writers, takes place at Writers’ Centre Norwich, Dragon Hall this week between 7 – 10 December.

This year we’ll be exploring Shakespeare as a global phenomenon, thinking about how his work has crossed cultures, been translated, inspired change and been changed and reinvented in turn. We will consider Shakespeare as a cultural export from a variety of perspectives, looking at how writers have drawn and continue to draw upon the unparalleled inheritance of his plays, and identifying various ways of negotiating writing with the weight of Shakespeare on our shoulders.

Delegates include Ian McEwan, Amit Chaudhuri, George Szirtes, Xiaolu Guo, Charles Nicholl, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and many more.

Although Worlds is a private symposium, you will be able to follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Worlds16. Podcasts and films will shortly follow.


Wednesday 7 December

Prologue: Tudor Tales by Dave Tong.

Thursday 8 December

Act I: Introductions and “Shakespeare in the World” panel debate

Xiaolu Guo – On Tang Xianzu

C. J. Driver – On the ‘Robben Island Bible’

George Volceanov – Shakespeare and the Censors

Act II: “(Up-)Staging Shakespeare”

Provocations by Amit Chaudhuri and Edward Wilson-Lee

Friday 9 December

Act III: “The World in Shakespeare” panel debate

Joanna Walsh – On Ophelia

Preti Taneja – On Lear

Laimonas Briedis – The Coast of Bohemia

Shihui Weng – On Mandarin

Act IV: “(Re-)Writing Shakespeare”. 

Provocations by Charles Nicholl and Ros Barber

Act V: “King of Infinite Space”

Ian McEwan in conversation. St Andrew’s Hall, 7pm.


Supported by UEA, Romanian Cultural Institute, Lithuanian Cultural Institute and English PEN.

Public Events

Details of our public programme are listed below.