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Polari

DO YOU KNOW WHAT ‘POLARI’ IS?

 

Ssshhh! Bedford Borough Libraries would like to let you into a secret and invite you to an evening with Paul Burston, on Tuesday 18th February, at 7pm, at Bedford Central Library, for his presentation on ‘Polari’.

 

Polari is a form of slang that was used in Britain by a number of different groups over the years. It was used in London fish markets, theatre, fairgrounds and circuses. As many gay men worked in theatrical entertainments it was also used among the gay subculture, at a time when homosexual activity was illegal, to disguise homosexuals from hostile outsiders. The use of it died out in the 1970’s, but Paul will be bringing it back to life.

 

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Bedford Borough Council, said: “This is a fascinating topic, and in the last few years, more and more people have been finding out about it. Paul’s presentation will examine the history of the secret in-group language of Polari from a sociolinguistic perspective.”

 

Author and journalist, Paul, created London’s award-winning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) literary salon ‘Polari’ and The Polari First Book Prize.

 

His first book was ‘A Queer Romance’, followed by a collection of essays and articles, ‘What Are You Looking At?’ His first novel, ‘Shameless’, was published in 2001 and was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award.

 

Paul writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian. He was shortlisted for ‘Journalist of the Year’ at the European Diversity Awards in 2011, and the Stonewall Awards in 2012.

 

If you would like to attend this event, get your tickets in advance from within the Bedford Central Library, or by telephone on 01234 718178 and prepare yourself for a fantabulosa evening!

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