Monday, 8 October 2012

Lancaster Litfest 2012 - Curate's egg picks

In an ideal world, I would immerse myself in books for a whole week, gliding seamlessly from event to event, and talking all things literary with friends old and new over coffee and cake.

Since I can't possibly enjoy it all, here's my selection from a packed program of events:

Wednesday 17th October - Gothic Young Adult Fiction. After last year's excellent talk on pushing the boundaries in YA fiction, my daughter's really looking forward to this one. With Cliff McNish, Chris Priestley and Celia Rees.

Thursday 18th October - David Constantine (winner of the 2010 BBC National Short Story Award) and Adam Marek read from their short fiction collections.

It's so tempting to spend the whole weekend of 20th/21st enjoying the Poetry Shindig (Saturday) and Prose Shindig (Sunday), but I'm rationing myself to a couple of events each day.

Saturday 20th October - Gillian Clarke & Robert Crawford. Two poets, one Welsh and one Scottish. In At the Source, Clarke writes with great passion about the relationship between language and place so I'm hoping for more of the same.

Saturday 20th October - An Evening with John Hegley, poet, comedian and performer. This is the event chosen by our book group. I've never seen Hegley before, but having watched clips on YouTube I'm looking forward to an entertaining evening.

Sunday 21st October - And Other Stories present: Deborah Levy and Oleg Zaionchkovsky I'm intrigued by And Other Stories' unusual publishing route, involving readers in the publishing process through of a series of readers groups, on-line forums and discussions. Deborah Levy's novel Swimming Home has been short-listed for the Booker Prize. It's a disconcerting book, with some great writing. I'll be posting a review soon.

Sunday 21st October - Jo Baker and Zoe Lambert - The Right to Imagine. Two North West writers talk about the role of war in story telling.

There's too much else going on to mention it all here, but you can find the whole programme on the Lancaster Litfest website.


  1. Sounds great! Wigtown Book Festival is on over this way and I'd have loved to have been able to spend some time there. Maybe next year with a bit of planning! Have fun!

  2. Well, you know how much I enjoy an event like this. I hope you have a great time. Celia Rees came and spoke to our teenage reading group a couple of years ago (she's local to us) and was very interesting indeed so I hope you daughter finds her so, as well.

  3. Thank you both. We're certainly looking forward to it!


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