To coincide with the international celebration on 1 March, some of our 34 venues tell their own stories of these special connections, which include The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S Lewis, James Bond creator Ian Fleming and poets Sylvia Plath and Andrew Motion.
American poet Sylvia Plath was a frequent visitor to Regent’s Park when she lived in Primrose Hill following her marriage to British poet Ted Hughes in 1956. Her visits to Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, situated immediately opposite Regent’s Conference and Events, inspired the creation of a poem with the same name, which appears in the notes section of her Collected Poems.
Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion wrote a poem to mark the completion of St Martin’srenewal project, which took place between 2006 and 2008. The verse is inscribed on the railings of The Lightwell and says:
Your stepping inwards from the air to earth
Winds round itself to meet the open sky
So vanishing becomes a second birth.
Fare well. Return. Fare well.
Here home and elsewhere share one mystery.
Here love and conscience sing the same refrain.
Here time leaps up. And strikes eternity
10-11 Carlton House Terrace, once the former residence of Prime Minister William Gladstone, is home to The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences. The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S Lewis was made a Fellow of The British Academy in 1955 (although The British Academy was not headquartered at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace at this point).
Commenting on WVC’s connections to the literary world, WVC chair and sales and marketing director of the QEII Centre Diane Waldron, said: “The forthcoming arrival of World Book Day gave us an exciting chance to delve into the connections our London venues have with leading figures of the literary world. “In some way the unique styles and varied subjects covered by each of these authors and poets reflects the scope of our offering at WVC. Whatever the requirements an event booker may have from an intimate gathering in a Grade 1 listed building to a conference.”