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Essex Book Festival 2020: February 28-March 31: Across Essex County


|| Friday: January 31: 2020 || ά. On the eve of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s historic arrival in the New World, Director Ros Green’s dynamic and eclectic programme demonstrates how this year’s Essex Book Festival, taking place across the County of Essex, between February 28 and March 31, provides the perfect vessel to hitch a life to a host of Brave New Worlds.

During the entire month of March, the Festival will be welcoming over 300 speakers to take part in 100 events in 40 venues across Essex, opening with Val McDermid. Recognised for taking on critical themes the Essex Book Festival 2020 will be leading the issues of global warming and climate change and Essex 2020: A Year of Science and Creativity, working with young people across Essex to create A Manifesto For  Essex, which, using words, print and film, aims to articulate and present a greener vision for the whole county.

The Festival programme will include an underwater performance by Wet Sounds, talks by BBC Radio Four Life Scientific Presenter Professor Jim Al-Khalili and a Tree-Mend-Us ‘treeinspired’ Day in Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre.

The Festival will, also, be welcoming Ms Jess Phillips MP to talk about her Sunday Times bestselling book Truth to Power, as well as, human rights campaigner Mr Peter Tatchell, who alongside Writer and Broadcaster Mr Kenan Malik and Artist and Researcher Ms Stella Odunlami will discuss all things Protest and Dissent.

And, in the sprit of the central theme of Brave New Worlds, Essex will be celebrating the 400th anniversary celebrations of The Mayflower, which left Harwich for the New World, as well as,  200 years since The Beagle took Darwin from the East of England to the Galapagos, 100 years since Marconi broadcast Dame Nellie Melba from Chelmsford and revolutionised the way we communicate.

The Festival reaches Essex’s ‘new towns’ Basildon and Harlow, where there will discussions about Utopia with New Statesman Editor Mr James Cowley and rolling out the drums with traditional African performer and storyteller Efua Sey and others to celebrate the county’s rich cultural diversity and heritage.

There’s no excuse not to join the Festival for what promises to be a challenging and exciting odyssey around Essex, with events taking place in venues as diverse as Tudor Palace Layer Marney Tower; a swimming pool in the recently refurbished Riverside Leisure Centre in Chelmsford; The Hexagon at University of Essex; The Archive Room in Harlow Museum, and over twenty libraries across Essex including HMP Chelmsford Library.

The Festival tickets went on sale online from January 13. The Festival partners include the Arts Council England, University of Essex, Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council, Thurrock Council, Harlow Council, Colchester Borough Council and Essex Cultural Diversity Project. 

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Essex Book Festival 2019: March 01-31



|| January 30: 2019: University of Essex News || ά. The Essex Book Festival is taking place throughout March, opening with talk by Ms Sara Perry about her new novel, held at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall on Friday, March 01. Ms Perry is the Festival Patron, who is the author of The Essex Serpent. 130 events taking place in 45 venues across Essex, including, contributions from 250 writers and artists, this year’s Festival is poised to enthral a diverse range of tastes. This is the 20th installation of the Festival.

As one of the sponsors, the University of Essex will be hosting a number of events on campus and many of its academics will lead sessions at other venues across the county. The Festival Director, Mr Ros Green, said, “It is wonderful to be collaborating with University of Essex on such an excellent and exciting range of events in March 2019, extending from our launch event with award-winning Essex author Sarah Perry in the Ivor Crewe Building on March 01, through to our Unspeakable Day on March 08, which includes a series of performances, panel discussions and author events in partnership with global magazine Index on Censorship and, including, Trevor Phillips and Dean Atta. We urge everyone to take the plunge and join in the festivities both on and off campus during March.”

On-campus events include Unspeakable, a day of challenging and illuminating conversations, performances, exhibitions and workshops, that explore historic and contemporary issues of censorship, no-platforming, freedom of speech and taboos, on Friday, March 08. The Lakeside Theatre offers two performances: Medea Electronica on Thursday, March 07 and Orlando on Thursday, March 14, as well as, a panel discussion and book launch: Thinking Home on Tuesday, March 12.

Off campus, Dr James Canton, from  LiFTS will lead a wild writing workshop on Saturday, March 02 at the Harwich Connexions 1912 Centre. He will be back there the following day, Sunday, March 03 when he is taking part in a breakfast discussion, led by Mr Ros Green, focusing on the power of words to cross borders and build new friendships. Fellow LiFTS lecturers, Professor Philip Terry and Mr Chris McCully are, also, in Harwich on March 02, providing modern interpretations of two very classic tales: Beowulf and Gilgamesh.

Children’s author, and Essex wild writing graduate, Ms Wendy Constance will lead workshops, suitable for the whole family, every weekend throughout the festival.  The Tides and Tales workshop, aimed at 07-11-year-olds, will run at Harwich Redoubt on Sunday, March 03, Firstsite in Colchester on Saturday, March 23 and Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Saturday, March 30. While Weaving with Words is at the National Trust’s Paycockes House in Coggeshall on Saturday, March 16.

For more visit the Festival website:::ω.

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Liverpool Literary Festival 2018 Opens This Weekend at the Victoria Gallery and Museum: October 19-21


















|| October 18: 2018: University of Liverpool News || ά. The Liverpool Literary Festival 2018 opens this weekend, October 19-21, bringing best-selling authors, award-winning writers, brilliant biographers and polemical poets, alongside debate, discussion and much more. And there is still time to pick up your tickets, either online through the Liverpool Literary Festival website or in person at the Victoria Gallery and Museum, the main Festival venue.

Tartan noir legend, Ms Val McDermid sets off things on Friday evening, with her Liverpool Literary Lecture Killing People for Fun and Profit. There are just a handful of tickets left for this event now. Saturday’s schedule is packed full of activity. The Saturday headline showcase with Mr Tony Robinson is now sold out as is Mr Sebastian Barry in conversation with Professor Roy Foster. But there are still a few tickets available for New Voices with Mr Alex Clark, featuring Booker nominee, Ms Sally Rooney.

An exploration of the art of graphic novels with Mr Bryan and Ms Mary Talbot, Memoir and Life-Writing with Ms Clare Tomalin and Mr Blake Morrison and Melmoth Author, Ms Sarah Perry in conversation with the BBC’s Mr James Naughtie.

Of particular interest to Liverpool audiences and music fans everywhere, may be, the Founding Editor of Mojo Magazine, Mr Paul Du Noyer, Talking McCartney and Liverpool Music. The man behind the officially endorsed Conversations with McCartney will reflect on four decades of interviewing The Beatles and Wings frontman.

What better way to start a Sunday of language filled loveliness than with Royal Society of Literature, poetry, a croissant and a coffee, all inside one of Liverpool’s most architecturally renowned venues? That’s exactly what is on the menu at the Peace Poetry Breakfast on Sunday morning. Make sure you don’t miss out on this perfect cultural beginning to an autumn day, the Festival’s Afternoon Tea with Ms Clare Tomalin and Mr Michael Frayne is already sold out.

Stick with verse into the afternoon by joining Ms Bidisha and Ms Holly Caulfield Carr for a discussion around Poetry and Image. The two poets will be in conversation around their practice in writing, film and performance with the University’s own award-winning wordsmith, Professor Deryn Rees-Jones.

It, might, even, inspire you to come up with storylines for the world’s longest–running soap opera, The Archers. It’s longest-serving scriptwriter, Ms Mary Cutler and Gold award-winning producer, Ms Sara Davies will share their insights into writing for the programme and adapting novels for radio.

Finally, join Merseyside literary legend, Mr Frank Cottrell-Boyce as the Festival 2018 wraps up with his talk on the impact of Machine Processed Programming:MPP, on all of our lives and ask, What will we do with all these people? And, if, you, have read this little piece and happen to attend this, please, ask Mr Frank Cottrell-Boyce, as to what is Machine Processed Programming:MPP and where you have read about it.

For more on the Liverpool Literary Festival visit the Festival website:::ω.

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I Write Thy Name in The Wuthering Heights of The Echoing Brontė-Stones





|| July 08: 2018 || ά. ‘’The Reader, who, one day, will read this work in electric light, that I am writing in candle light and on another day, another Author would imagine me doing and write this very sentence, that you are now reading, will forget his reality and his electric light and his time and space and will travel in the time-space-creative-quantum I am creating now so that, once, he had finished his readin,  he would go to blow off his candle so to realise that the ‘candle’ does not get blown off’ and, this way, he will travel back to his own time and, having touched my Wuthering Heights’ silence of The Stone, he would have learnt something: to love: that what is unfathomable.’’

Writer and Musician Ms Kate Bush, Poet Ms Carol Ann Duffy, Poet and Novelist Ms Jackie Kay and Novelist Ms Jeanette Winterson have come together to celebrate the literary legacy of the Brontė Sisters, with a new permanent multi-site public art installation set in the rugged landscape of Yorkshire, that the Brontės themselves immortalised with novels, such as, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. But there is no other route to the Brontės than to read their works; there is no alternative but to read their works. We very much hope that this project would lead all those exploring these trails, to their works and new readers taking up the joyful worlds and exploring them to learn to love the unfathomable.

Since, to learn to love the unfathomable is the true heritage of the Brontė Sisters. They are not about ‘puddle’ of life; they are about the infinite Pacific Ocean of it. People, may, measure, capture and replicate the puddle but this unfathomable infinite Pacific Ocean is not to be measured, captured or replicated and the way to it is to read and with the highest use of imagination bring its  reality into life so that it all becomes true to the readers and, thus, this becomes a life-enhancing and life-enriching experience. This is what great literature is supposed to do: enhance and enrich life and to make us learn to love the unfathomable. For dare we not to seek to ‘measure’, capture and replicate’ the infinity: it is boundless and beyond our abilities. But we can, however, surely, learn to love that unfathomable life, that the Brontė Sisters brought to us.

Available for the public to view from today, Sunday, July 08, the texts etched on to the Brontė Stones were presented to mark the bicentenary of Emily Brontė at a special event at Bradford’s historic Midland Hotel yesterday where writers these authors presented the first official readings of their new work. Three of the stones have now been installed are: those by Ms Kate Bush, responding to Emily Brontė, Ms Carol Ann Duffy, Charlotte Brontė and Ms Jeanette Winterson, responding to the Brontė legacy as a whole.

The unveiling of the fourth stone, representing Anne Brontė, has been postponed due to the complexity of the installation at the Brontė Parsonage Museum. This will be unveiled later in the year. The Brontė Stones can be navigated using beautiful, hand drawn maps, created by Yorkshire Cartographer Mr Christopher Goddard.

The Bronte Stones was originated by the Project Manager, Mr Michael Stewart and has been curated and delivered jointly with the Bradford Literature Festival, the Brontė Stones Project features four new, original works of writing, engraved onto stones in different locations connecting the Brontė sisters’ birthplace in Thornton and the Brontė family parsonage, now, the Brontė Parsonage Museum, at Haworth.

The captivating journey along the four points, of, approximately, eight miles, form what is believed to have been the route the sisters themselves, often, took between the two locations. The stones take visitors on a journey in the footsteps of these extraordinary Yorkshire sisters, whose novels are recognised worldwide as some of the greatest works of literature to emerge from the 19th century. The Project will leave a permanent memorial in the landscape, that homed and fuelled the imagination of these ground-breaking writers.

Following their inauguration, the walk remains for members of the public to undertake for generations to come. As a legacy project, future plans include the development of a mobile app providing a personal, guided experience of the Brontė Stones walk.

This project has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and sponsorship from Provident Financial Group PLC.

Ms Kate Bush said, about Emily Bronte, “I am delighted to be involved in this project. Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape, where they lived and worked is a striking idea. Emily only wrote the one novel, an extraordinary work of art, that has truly left its mark. To be asked to write a piece for Emily's stone is an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her.”

Ms Jackie Kay said, about Anne Brontė, “It's been a real pleasure working on the Brontė Stones Project. The Brontės are part of the literary landscape of this country. The stones are exciting in that they will make the past new again, opening up along the way new paths for different readers to follow. 

I, particularly, loved writing about Anne, she's the most underrated writer in the family, the pioneer about whom people know the least. I liked the challenge of writing a hidden poem within the poem on the stone and working with the artist to try and achieve that effect.”

Ms Jeanette Winterson said, about the Brontės, “When I was growing up in Lancashire and roaming the hills in the rain and feeling both passionate and misunderstood like all teenagers, well, may be, some have better weather, I read the Brontės and felt their spirit stand by me. For me, reading is about connection and connection, that works across time, too.

Good books live in the present, regardless of when they were written. The Brontės showed me that hearts beat like mine, that the struggle to know who you are happens across time and generations and gender. They showed me that writing needs the power of the personal behind it but that somehow the story one person tells has to become a story many people can claim as their own. And the Brontės are women. As a woman I needed those ancestors, those guides. I still do.”

Ms Syima Aslam, the Director of Bradford Literature Festival, said, “It has been a huge privilege to curate and deliver the Brontės Stones Project as part of the Festival this year. The Brontės are an integral part of the literary landscape of Bradford and the inspiration for our annual Bronte Heritage strand of events.

It is, therefore, an honour for Bradford Literature Festival to bring the legacy of the extraordinary Bronte sisters to life in this exciting new way. It’s a matter of great pride for us that the Stones will stand in some of the most beautiful places in the county, bearing these moving, mysterious and playful literary works, that the public can enjoy for years to come.”

Mr Michael Stewart, the Project Manager, said, “I first conceived of the Brontė Stones Project in October 2013. I live in Thornton and have long wanted my village to receive recognition for its place in the Brontė story. All three literary sisters and their wayward brother were born here. They were a happy family, but very shortly, after their move to Haworth in 1820, tragedy struck. First the death of their mother, then, the two oldest siblings. I was, also, aware that Anne Brontė was buried in Scarborough many miles from the rest of her family and I wanted a stone to mark her return. It’s fantastic to see the Project come to fruition.”

Ms Kitty Wright, the Executive Director of the Brontė Society, said, “We are thrilled to be playing a part in this exciting project and are delighted that the Anne Stone will be situated in the grounds of the Parsonage, where Anne spent almost all of her life. 

Haworth and the Yorkshire landscape are of immense significance to the Brontė story and we are sure local residents and visitors will enjoy making their way along the Brontė Stone trail for years to come. We look forward to building on our partnership with Bradford Literature Festival as together we continue to celebrate the legacy of Anne and her sisters.” 

Bradford Literature Festival, in association with Provident Financial Group, took place between June 29 and July 08.  

About Bradford Literature Festival: Bradford Literature Festival is run by Culture Squared, a community interest company, established to create high quality cultural activity, that builds stronger communities through dialogue, cohesion and the promotion of intercultural fluency.

Bradford Literature Festival is presented in association with Provident Financial Group, the title partner of the festival and funded by Arts Council England and Bradford Council. The festival’s university partner is the University of Bradford. The festival hotel partner is the Midland Hotel and the festival book partner is Waterstones.

Bradford Literature Festival is an international event spearheading Bradford’s cultural renaissance and is committed to raising aspirations and literacy levels in the city. Bradford has long been a hub for literature, diversity and culture. The richness of its communities, drawn from so many different countries, is a key inspiration behind the festival, igniting events that bring guests from around the world to Bradford and providing an opportunity to showcase the heritage and landscape of Bradford to the world. Annual festival highlights include a Bronte Heritage Weekend featuring talks and tours, and a comics convention with comics from across world cultures. :::ω.

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