Will Self, Tony Harrison, Alan Hollinghurst and Ian Rankin will be among the international writers, poets and artists involved in the 13th Birmingham Book Festival (6-16 October) this year.
Birmingham Cathedral will host Will Self (Thurs 13 Oct – 7.30pm) as he offers his ‘alternative’ sermon based on Jean Jacques Rousseau’s observation that we all think at walking pace and therefore driving, by contrast is an intrinsically thoughtless undertaking. He will also be talking about his latest novel Walking To Hollywood; a triptych in which Self burrows down through the intersections of time, place and psyche to explore some of our deepest fears and anxieties.
Tony Harrison – Britain’s leading theatre and film poet – will make a rare appearance (Sat 15 Oct – 8pm) to talk about his work which has included The Gaze Of The Gorgon (awarded the Whitbread Prize for Poetry) and The Shadow of Hiroshima And Other Film Poems (awarded the William Heinemann Prize 1996). Tony was the recipient of the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry in 2007 and the European Literature Prize in 2011 and is currently working on a production Iphigenia and a production of The Medieval Mystery Plays for The Globe on Bankside.
Man Booker prize winner 2004 and Man Booker 2011 long listed author Alan Hollinghurst will be talking about his latest novel The Stranger’s Child (Fri 14 Oct – 7.30pm) whilst Stuart Maconie (Sat 15 Oct, 6pm) – TV and radio presenter, journalist, columnist and author – will talk about his new book Hope and Glory which details his search for the places, people and events that have shaped modern Britain.
Birmingham libraries join the festival in presenting a free evening with Ian Rankin (Wed 12 Oct – 7pm) will take place at the Birmingham Library Theatre. The UK’s number one best-selling crime writer will be talking about his work and new book, The Impossible Dead.
Festival Director Sara Beadle said, “We are really excited about the line-up this year. We like to attract nationally and internationally known literary figures to Birmingham but also ensure that we programme a diverse and original range of events to engage people in many forms with what reading and writing is truly about; connecting with, or escaping from, the world we live in.”
An all-night writing workshop at the Birmingham Museum’s Collections Centre (All Night at the Museum – Sat 1st Oct – 11pm);an innovative, international ‘dice slam’ which will see eight poets from across the world battle it out for votes (Thurs 13th Oct – 7pm); a whole festival day at the MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) (Sun 16th Oct) which will include a screening of a Cannes Film festival winning film, Life Above All, from the novel by Allan Stratton who will be visiting Birmingham from Canada especially for the event and a poetry party and open mic with Dutch slam legends Daan Doesborgh and Ellen Deckwitz add up to what promises to be a stimulating and inspired festival.
The festival will also announce the new Birmingham Poet Laureate, have a dedicated bookshop within the Central Library, a free fringe festival in partnership with Birmingham Libraries and a specially commissioned sound installation Boy You Turn Me situated in an empty shop in the Pavilions shopping centre.
For further information and interviews contact Zeena Lemon, Marketing and Communications Manager: 0121 246 3038/07504234044
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