October Spoken Word and Literary Festival Midlands Round-Up

Welcome to my “Festival Special Round-Up”, there is so much going on this month that I have decided to give these events a space all on their own with no fewer than five taking place across the region at Warwick, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Lichfield and Wellington. And that does not include a plethora of events on National Poetry Day, on Thursday 6th,,they comprise:

The tenth Warwick Words Festival of Literature and the Spoken Word festival runs from the 1st to Sun 9th of October with nine days packed with performances from some of the country’s leading writers, poets, journalists, illustrators and storytellers, including Carol-Ann Duffy, Melyvn Bragg, Judith Miller, Stuart Maconie, Martin Bell, Josceline Dimbleby, Mark Logue, Peter Conradi, Marcus Berkmann, Dame Emma Kirkby, and Alastair Hignell

Lichfield Literary Festival, 1st to the 13th Oct including ex MP Martin Bell, journalist Simon Hoggart, crime writer Sophie Hannah and cricket commentator Peter Baxter

The Wellington Literary festival runs from 1st October to 22nd and includes author Fay Weldon, railway enthusiast Christian Wolmar and the very entertaining poet Ian McMillan, all events are free!

Birmingham Book Festival Wed 6- 16th, highlights include the crowning of the the next Birmingham Poet Laureate, successor to our very own Roy Mac Farlane, poet Matt Harvey,Will Self and Stuart Macconie

Cheltenham Festival 7th -16th sponsored by the Times and covered by Sky Arts so it must be good, with a stellar cast including pretty much everyone including Johan Lumley, Pamela Stephenson, Larry Lamb and David Walliams.

These are highlights for comprehensive listings check the individual festival websites.

Warwick Festival

Tuesday 4th

Rose& Crown, Chiome Okereke, 10.30am £5 inc morning coffee, An imagined world, a complex love,story, and some endearing characters converge in this compelling novel by an exciting new voice in fiction, Chioma Okereke. Set in a community that is African in nature, but never geographically,placed, Bitter Leaf is a novel that will draw you into an idiosyncratic world that is both strange and familiar at the same time. Chioma was born in Nigeria. She started her writing career as a poet and performed throughout Europe and the United States before turning her hand to fiction. Her work has been shortlisted in the Undiscovered Authors Competition 2006, run by Bookforce UK, and in the Daily Telegraph’s Write a Novel in a Year

The Necessary Aptitude with Pam Ayres, Lord Leycester Hospital 6.00pm
We are delighted to welcome Pam Ayres to Warwick Words to talk about her newly published autobiography, The Necessary Aptitude We are delighted to welcome Pam Ayres to Warwick Words to talk about hernewly published autobiography, The Necessary Aptitude. The Necessary Aptitude tells the story of Pam’s 1950s childhood, as the youngest of a family of six, growing up in the Vale of the White Horse in Berkshire. In her autobiography Pam describes her journey from a modest start to becoming a bestselling author and successful solo theatre performer. After a variety of jobs, where she was always told that she didn’t have the ‘necessary aptitude’, in 1965 Pam joined the WRAF, where against the lush backdrop of RAF Seletar in Singapore, she first began to write and perform her own work. Since her first appearances on TV, over 35 years ago, Pam has been an audience favourite for her sharp perception of the comic detail of everyday life. She is a
regular on TV and Radio, on programmes such as Just a Minute, Ayres on the Air, QI, Countdown, and The Paul O’Grady Show.

Tuesday 4th , An Evening with Melvyn Bragg,Guy Nelson Hall, Warwick School,8.00pm
Melvyn Bragg will be talking about the impact of The King James Bible in the 400 years since it was first published in 1611 Melvyn Bragg will be talking about the impact of The King James Bible in the 400 years since it was first published in 1611.The impact on the English language – which was and remains huge – on English literature here, in America, Australia and beyond, on the development of democracy, on the abolition of slavery, on the rise of early modern science, on education, on sexual attitudes and on much of the life we live today and also of course on the spreading of the Protestant faith around the world. The King James Bible has often been called the Book of Books both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611 it has been the best-selling book in the world, and, many believe has had the greatest impact.

Wed 5th Bridge House Theatre,Martin Bell, 8pm, £10in:
Martin Bell OBE has been many things – an icon of BBC war reporting, Britain’s first independent MP for 50 years, a UNICEF ambassador, a staunch supporter of rights for the armed forces, and ‘the man in the white suit’ – a tireless campaigner for honesty and accountability in politics.But as his new book, For Whom The Bell Tolls reveals, he’s also a talented poet of light verse, and here Bell’s poems continue his war by other means on duplicitous politicians, our all-consuming media, the venality of celebrity culture and much more. From his earliest poem, written about serving in the Suffolk Regiment when he was just 19, to the still unwritten poems which will cover the as-yet-unknown key events of 2011, Bell with this book commits his life-story to paper in light verse, lamenting and lambasting on his way.

Thursday,6th An Evening with David Morley, Lord Leycester Hospital,7.30pm
David Morley has published over 20 books, including nine books of poems, many of which have won major prizes. He is a world famous author on creative writing and a bestselling anthologist. His writing podcasts are among the most popular literature downloads on iTunes.

Thursday 6th Live Poetry at the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms,Thomas Oken Tea Rooms, 11.00am – 4.00pm ( and Friday 7th 11.00am – 4.00pm)
Join Olga Dermott-Bond, Warwick’s 2010 Poet Laureate, and guest poets from Warwickshire and the West Midlands who will be reading a selection of their poems – an exciting and eclectic mix of funny to serious and all shades in between. You can even read your own work, if you wish to, in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. This is a chance, not to be missed, to relax with cake and tea and meet some of the region’s poets, and have an enjoyable, informative day.Contact Olga if you would like to participate in the Live Poetry at the Tea Rooms: olgadermott@btinternet.com
Please note that this event is held upstairs and does not have disabled access.

Thur 6th warwick School, Alistair Hignell,8pm£15 in: Join Alastair Hignell renowned rugby international, county cricketer and muchloved broadcaster. Forced to retire from his playing careers at an early age due to injury, and then from his broadcasting career when his struggle with MS became too overwhelming, Alastair Hignell has nonetheless lived life to the full. Higgy tells his inspirational story with warmth and humour – from growing up as a bright and very competitive young lad, on to his successful Cambridge university days where he was the first person to captain both the rugby and cricket first teams, through his playing careers against and alongside some of the all-time greats in both sports, and a prominent broadcasting career that took him around the world to cover some of the biggest sporting events and characters. Higgy’s has been a tough journey, and his story is a fascinating example of strength and determination when faced with adversity. Appealing to a broad range of sports fans, this story is about setbacks and triumphs, about making the shift from the athletic struggles of sport to the struggle of performing everyday tasks. It’s the genuine and emotional story of how a highly successful sportsman faced up to a devastating illness and became one of the most inspiring personalities of our age.

Friday7th Warwick Slam 2011,Unitarian Chapel9.00pm
Warwick Word’s seventh performance poetry slam, hosted by SPOZ, offers a £100 cash prize!
Slamming is competitive poetry at its fast and furious best: poets perform; judges and audience decide who is best. Come and vote for your favourite at this popular event.
If you would like to participate in the Late Night Slam, please email Spoz at spoz4@blueyonder.co.uk for one of sixteen places.
Tickets: £6.00 (Free to SLAM participants)

Birmingham Book festival highlights:

Thurs 6th If you are around the city during the day on Thursday 6th October, look out for us as we head to various venues across the city centre with the Birmingham Poet Laureate finalists who will be performing some of their poetry from 2pm – 4pm.
The schedule of venues includes (timings are subject to alteration):
2pm: Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS
2.30pm: Festival Bookshop, Library Foyer, Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3HQ
3pm: Cafe Blend, Orion Building, 90 Navigation Street, Birmingham, B5 4AA
3.30pm Zelig Gallery, Custard Factory Digbeth

Thurs 6th Yumm Cafe, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham,6pm – 8.30pm/ Free (Quiz £2),Join the Festival and partners Birmingham Libraries and Poetry On Loan to launch the city’s literature festival.

Back for our 13th year, the Birmingham Book Festival is sharing an opening night with National Poetry Day 2011. What better excuse to invite one of our most exciting poets, Matt Harvey, to help us launch the Festival and test your literary knowledge with the return of the (now infamous) Festival Quiz – back by popular demand. We will also be announcing the city’s 16th Poet Laureate -live!

The Birmingham Poet Laureate scheme is founded and managed by Birmingham Libraries, it supports both an adult laureate and a young laureate for a year, connecting them with the writing community in Birmingham and helping them to generate opportunities for themselves and for others. The outgoing Laureate, Roy McFarlane, will perform alongside the winner, handing over the honorary title with a few words about his 2010-11 tenure.
There will be words from the Festival team, too, about what you can expect from the next ten days. We hope you can join us to welcome in this year’s season of writing, reading and thinking in Birmingham.
All of this takes place within the cosy den that is Yumm Café. Beer, wine, nibbles and soft drinks will be available.

Sat 8th Young People Slam, Library Theatre, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham 4-5pm

Wed 12th Ian Rankin Library Theatre, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham 7pm Ian Rankin is the UK’s number one best-selling crime writer. He will be talking about his work and in particular his new book, The Impossible Dead.
Malcolm Fox and his team from Internal Affairs have been sent to Fife to investigate whether fellow cops covered up for a corrupt colleague, Detective Paul Carter. But what should be a simple job is soon complicated by intimations of conspiracy and cover-up- and a brutal murder, a murder committed with a weapon that should not even exist. The spiralling investigation takes Fox back in time to 1985, a year of turmoil in British political life. Terrorists intent on a split between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom were becoming more brazen and ruthless, sending letter-bombs and poisonous spores to government offices, plotting kidnaps and murder, and trying to stay one step ahead of the spies sent to flush them out.
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s Edgar Award for Resurrection Men.
He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Awards in the USA and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipries.

Wed 12th Victor Rodriguez Nunez,Ikon Galery &pm, £7. Víctor Rodríguez Núñez is one of the most renowned Cuban poets writing today. He has published eleven poetry collections, the most recent of which, The Infinite’s Ash, has been translated into English by Katherine Hedeen.
He has described his poetry as ‘participatory, yet not political, communicative, yet not explicit, dialogic yet not conversational, Cuban yet not essentially nationalist.’
His awards include the David Prize (Cuba, 1980), the Plural Prize (Mexico, 1983), the EDUCA Prize (Costa Rica, 1995), the Renacimiento Prize (Spain, 2000), the Fray Luis de León Prize (Spain, 2005) and the Leonor Prize (Spain, 2006). His poems have appeared in literary journals throughout the world. He is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College, Ohio. USA.
This is a rare opportunity to experience Rodríguez Núñez’s poetry in Spanish and English, followed by a discussion of his work in conversation with Birmingham poet Charlie Jordan and a book signing. The Infinite’s Ash will be on sale at this event and also in the Festival Bookshop which is located in the Library Foyer throughout the Birmingham Book Festival 2011.

Thurs 13th Will Self Birmingham Cathedral, 7.30pm £8, In 2007 a locksmith crazed on junk food exited the McDonald’s on the Wandsworth Road in London and drove his truck straight into Will Self’s car, writing it off. He walked away from that wreck and has never looked back – he was a committed driver for over twenty years, clocking up thousands of miles every year, but what has astonished him since is how little he has missed owning a car.
In this address from the pulpit he aims to convince his audience of the truth of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s observation : that we think at walking pace. Driving, by contrast, is an intrinsically thoughtless undertaking – it is possible to ‘come to’ having driven right across Birmingham quite unconscious, but to do this as a pedestrian would be impossible, such would be the quantity of sights, impressions – thoughts, that we would’ve assimilated. He is not asking everyone to walk away from this evening and abandon their wheels for ever – but he will be asking them to at least consider it.
Join us as Will Self presents his latest novel, Walking To Hollywood this book will be on sale and the event is followed by a book signing. You can also buy your book in advance of this event at the Festival Bookshop which will be located in the Library Foyer for the duration of the Birmingham Book Festival 2011

Thurs 13th Dice Slam, Fazely Studios Digbeth, 7pm, £7. Is it a serious competition? Is it absurdist comedy? No, it’s the Dice Slam, a truly unique event bringing together an astounding number of top international performance poets and an absurd set of rules.
The poets perform, we throw some dice, the result becomes their score and a hand-picked jury of quick-witted experts attempts to justify it. The audience gets to vote for their favourite critic, and in the end, poetry wins. Not to be missed!
Featuring poets from seven nations including Germany, UK, Poland, Sweden and The Netherlands, this is an evening of international poetry not to be forgotten.
Poet Bios
•Abby Oliveira is a writer and performer based in Derry, N.Ireland. She has co-written
two performance poetry shows with the Poetry Chicks. She was a finalist in the All
Ireland and Glastonbury poetry slams (2009/10), as well as a finalist in the BBC
Radio4 Poetry Slam (2009). Abby also has extensive experience as a creative
writing facilitator, and holds a BaHons degree in Theatre Studies from the University
of Ulster. (http://www.myspace.com/poetrychicks)
•Grzegorz Bruszewski started performing in March 2004. Together with Wojtek Cichon
he established the Teges Szmeges project, promoting poetry slam and delivering
performance poetry workshops. In 2007, he was 26th on a list of the fifty most
culturally active Warsaw citizens. In 2010, he represented Poland in the annual
Poetry Slam World Cup in Bobigny, France.
•Henry Bowers is one of Europe’s leading slam-poets. He is also known and
acclaimed as one of Sweden’s best hip-hop acts. Henry’s poetry is intelligent, sharp
and to the point. He breaks down the wall between high culture and mass culture; his
influences range from horror films and children’s stories to classic masterpieces and
great philosophers, with a strong dose of humour. (http://henrybowers.com/)
• Bas Boettcher was the first German speaking rapper to perform his lyrics and put
them on stage. He developed a new form of poetry, dynamic, rhythmic, and very
direct, driven by the sound and melody of the language. Bas Boettcher has also
gained reputation as an outstanding text poet. He has won numerous slam
competitions and was crowned the “Poetry Slam King” at the 1st German National
Poetry Slam competition in Berlin in 1997. He was also commissioned by the Goethe-
Institute to give guest lectures on Rap-Poetry. (http://www.basboettcher.de/)
• Bernhard Christiansen is a writer, performer and comedian. He won the 1999 Utrecht
Parnassos-Try-Out Stage, in 2005; Flemish Poetry Slam in 2005 for best
performance; and in 2007 won the NK-Poetry slam. He has performed at various
festivals, such as Oerol, Limburg Festival, Lowlands, Ghent Festival, The Nights,
Winter Festival, and many more. Bernhard is the creator of the slightly absurdist
literary events Poëzie-entiteit Blauw (since November 2003) and Vorlesebühne (since
June 2008), and was also the first to run a Dice Slam.
• Indigo Williams is a dynamic performer that commands the stage with gripping
presence and powerful poetry. With both substance and passion, her work is emotive
and thought provoking. She has performed at The Big Chill festival, iTunes Festival,
Camp Bestival, The RoundHouse, BBC Radio 4’s ‘Bespoken word’, The Royal
Shakespeare Company and many more.
She is an associate artist of The RoundHouse and is fast becoming known as a
name to watch out for. (http://www.myspace.com/indigowilliams)
• Lisbon-based Hip Hop “B-boy” Biru has known international success over the last
fifteen years. The rapper describes his style as an “ancestral Afro descent with an
experimental jazzy approach”. He has worked with UK producer K-Delight and
collaborated with the US’s Existereo. Biru is currently developing his solo career,
more focused on live performance. (http://www.birulex.com/)

Judge Bios
• Luke Kennard is a Birmingham based poet and lecturer at the University of
Birmingham. His first book of poetry, ‘The Solex Brothers’, won him an Eric Gregory
Award. (http://planetshapedhorse.blogspot.com/)
•Kimberly Trusty is a Canadian writer who now lives and works in Birmingham.
Kimberly has toured England with her work and believes good writing tells truths that
leave third degree burns on lips, eardrums and fingertips.
• Jonathan Davidson is a writer and promoter of literature development, running writing
projects and book festivals. He is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the National
Association of Writers in Education, The Poetry Society and the National Association
for Literature Development. (http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/about-2/)

Sat 15th Stuart Macconie, ICC, 6pm £7, In Hope and Glory Stuart Maconie goes in search of the places, people and events that have shaped modern Britain. Starting with the death of Queen Victoria, to the battle of the Somme and the General Strike, and on to the docking of the Empire Windrush and Bobby Moore raising the Jules Rimet Trophy, he chooses a defining moment in our nation’s story from each decade of the last century and explores its legacy today.
Some were glorious days, some were tragic, or even shameful, but each has played its part in making us who we are as a nation. From pop stars to politicians, Suffragettes to punks, this is a journey around Britain in search of who we are.
Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter, journalist, columnist and author. He is one of the UK’s best-selling travel writers. His book Adventures on the High Teas was a top best selling travel book of 2009 and Pies and Prejudice was one of 2008’s top selling paperbacks. His work has been compared with Bill Bryson, Alan Bennett and John peel and described by The Times as a ‘National Treasure’.
Join Stuart Maconie as he presents his new book Hope & Glory, the book will be on sale and the event will be followed by a book signing. If you would like to purchase your copy of Hope & Glory before the event, please visit the Festival Bookshop which will be located in the Library Foyer, Central Library for the duration of the Birmingham Book Festival.

Sun 16th Ellen Deckwitz Daan Doesborgh Festival Finale ,Mac, 5.30pm Finish the Festival properly with a feast of spoken word – open mic slots for the city’s up and coming poets, hosted and followed by Dutch poetry slam legends Daan Doesborgh and Ellen Deckwitz. Both national champions in Slam Poetry in their home country, they come to Birmingham with a show put together just for us. Combining their powers, they present L&D: a Dutch supergroup of poetry slam.
Also known as the Siegfried and Roy of poetry performance, Ellen and Daan will bring you a show filled with poetry, humour, mime and Dutch folklore. Find out why people already refer to them as the bosses of spoken word! Allow them to bring you to laughter and to tears, and then join us in the bar to celebrate another great year of literature.

Cheltenham Literary Festival

Friday 7th The 7th UK All Stars Poetry Slam Qualifier, at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Imperial Square, 8.30-10pm, £4. Five poets will qualify for the main event the following evening.

Friday 7th Mathew Hollis on Edward Thomas, Montpelier Gardens, Cheltenham Literature Festival 6.30pm. £8 Edward Thomas was one of the most beguiling and influential of First World War poets. Matthew Hollis, author of a new biography of Thomas, All Roads Lead to France, gives us an account of his final five years centred on his extraordinary friendship with Robert Frost. The event will also include readings from Thomas’ work.

Saturday 8th The 7th UK All Stars Poetry Slam! A mega-slam on a glamorous scale. Imperial Square, Cheltenham, 8pm-late, £7.

Mon 10 Victor Rodriguez Nunez Poetry Cafe, Imperial Square 5:30pm, Free in,
a rare chance to hear a reading by Víctor Rodriguez Núñez, one of Cuba’s most noteworthy contemporary writers. As well as reading a selection of his poetry, he will answer questions on his work.
Mon 10th Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson, The Forum Cheltenham Literature Festival 6:30pm £10, To mark the publication of The Bees, her first new poetry collection since the prize-winning Rapture in 2005, we are delighted to welcome the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, for an unmissable evening of poetry with music by John Sampson
To mark the publication of The Bees, her first new poetry collection since the prize-winning Rapture in 2005, we are delighted to welcome the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, for an unmissable evening of poetry with music by John Sampson…

Tuesday 11th Join Marcus and Sara-Jane as they read, recite and recount their poetry at The Poetry Café, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Imperial Square, 5.30-6.15pm, free.

Tuesday 11th Fiona Sampson on Shelley, Montpelier Gardens, Cheltenham Literature Festival, 10am, £7 in :A radical figure and social campaigner, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote some of the finest lyric verse in England before his untimely death by drowning in 1822. In a beautifully illustrated talk, renowned poet Fiona Sampson provides a fascinating insight into Shelley’s work, and reassesses his reputation as one of the major figures in the Romantic movement.

Wed 12th Fiona Thomson & Chris Wallace Crabbe, Poetry Café Imperial square, Cheltenham Literature Festival 5.30pm, Free: A rare opportunity to hear Chris Wallace-Crabbe, one of Australia’s leading poets, and award-winning poet Fiona Sampson, as they read from their latest work.

Thurs 13th Being Human: Neil Astley and Esther Morgan Poetry Café Imperial square, Cheltenham Literature Festival 3.15pm, £6. Much-loved poetry anthology, Being Human offers hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world to touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit. Its editor, Neil Astley and poet Esther Morgan join us to read poems from the anthology, and discuss the heartfelt responses it has provoked in readers.

Thurs 13th Esther Morgan and Lawrence Sail Poetry Café Imperial square, Cheltenham Literature Festival 5.30 pm, Free A chance to hear two acclaimed poets perform work from their latest collections. Esther Morgan reads from Grace, in which she examines our need for purpose, and for signs that might help us decide what to do with our lives. Lawrence Sail reads from Waking Dreams, a retrospective collection of his work from the past four decades.

Fri 14th The Forum, Cheltenham Literature Festival
12noon: £8, National Poetry Competition Winners Every year, the National Poetry Competition attracts thousands of entries. In an event organised in partnership with the Poetry Society, the 2010 winners of the much-coveted National Poetry Prize, Paul Adrian, Josephine Haslam and Matthew Sweeney join Jo Shapcott to read their winning entries and a selection of new work.
Montpelier Gardens, Cheltenham Literature Festival,
2pm: £7, Paul Muldoon on Byron, With the publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in 1812, Lord Byron became the most famous poet of his age, as well as one of its most notorious characters. The distinguished poet Paul Muldoon (Moy Sand and Gravel, Horse Latitudes) offers this accessible and passionate introduction to one of the most important poets in our literature, as part of Faber’s Poet to Poet series
The Forum, Cheltenham Literature Festival
4pm: £8 Wendy Cope, From a motorway service area to her ambivalent relationship with religion, much-loved poet Wendy Cope covers a wide range of subject matter, and blends sadness and joy in her new volume of poems, Family Values. She joins us to read from, and discuss this compassionate new collection, her first for ten years
Montpelier Gardens, Cheltenham Literature Festival,

5.30pm, free: Jo Shapcott joins three of today’s most exciting young poets, Kate Potts, Karen McCarthy Woolf, and Liz Berry, on stage to read from their work.
7pm, £6,Harsent, O’Brien, Muldoon, In an event specially curated and introduced by Jo Shapcott, we join three of Britain’s finest poets Paul Muldoon, David Harsent and Sean O’Brien for a rare opportunity to hear them read from their hugely-acclaimed work.

8.45pm £6 CK Williams, Hailed by Paul Muldoon as ‘one of the most distinguished poets of his generation’, C K Williams is known for his intense and searching originality, a poet who believes in poetry as a tool to speak the truth. He joins us on a visit from US to read from his work, startlingly intense anecdotes on love, death, secrets and wayward thought.

The Lichfield Festival – has some good names, but has a bill which is punching well below its weight

Thursday 6th, the George, Martin Bell 11.45am – 12.45pm: Legendary journalist Martin Bell showcases his new book of poetry..
Saturday 8th from 8pm until 9pm. Adam Hart-Davis,: Presenter and author Adam Hart-Davis presents the ‘Book of Time’, described as ‘the complete guide to one of the most important, fascinating, paradoxical, mind-bending subjects there is’.
Sunday 9th the George, Simon Hoggart: 7pm to 8pm. Journalist Simon Hoggart shares some of the stories from ‘A Long Lunch’, the book reflecting on his meetings with the great and the good of society in the late 1900s, from Princess Diana to Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela to Rupert Murdoch.
Sunday 9th the George, Peter Baxter on, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm: A must for all cricket fans. Former ‘Test Match Special’ producer and commentator Peter Baxter recalls cricketing anecdotes as featured in his book, ‘The Best Views from the Boundary’, based on the popular interview slot in the TMS schedule.
Thursday 13th, Lichfield Cathedral Val McDermid from 7pm to 8pm.: Her hugely successful career has seen her bestselling books translated into more than 30 languages, and one of her titles, ‘Wire in the Blood’ turned into a television series. Now, McDermid visits Lichfield Cathedral to discuss her latest novel, ‘The Retribution’. T

The Wellington Festival – free entry to all events, some by ticket only.

Tues 4th Wellington Methodist Church, 7pm, Crime novelist ,Rory Clements

Fri 7th Ian McMillan, Wrekin College 7pm Poet and raconteur extraordinaire

Mon 17th Wellington Literary Festival Poetry Open mic, Cock inn, Holyhead Rd, Wellington, 8pm, free in , compered by Tony Stringfellow

Thurs 20th New College, Christian Wolmar on trains

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5 Responses to October Spoken Word and Literary Festival Midlands Round-Up

  1. That’s some list of poetry events. I’m a Coventry girl, living for a long time now in Ireland. How would I get onto the West Midlands circuit?

    • garylongden says:

      Many events are open-mic. Night Blue Fruit in Coventry and Poetry Bites in Kings Heath Birmingham are both events you can sign up to on the night, once you get noticed and established at open mic events the invites will follow. the next Fizz at Polesworth, which includes an open mic has some poets from Ireland travelling over specially:”The next Fizz is on THURSDAY 3rd November at the TYTHE BARN in Polesworth when we will have as our guest poets Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Jennifer Matthews from CORK in Ireland.”

      • Thanks Gary but open mics aren’t really the answer if I’m travelling from Ireland. I’m well established here but would love an invite to read in Cov. I’ve come across Afric before. How would I get to be a guest poet? I have (tenuous) Cork connections.

  2. garylongden says:

    Night Blue Fruit, Fizz, Hit the ode and Poetry Bites combine open mics of various lengths with headline slots, the e mail addresses for both events are in the Events listings. Parole Parlate, Shindig and Bilston Voices book headline slots months in advance, again email addresses in the listings. Approach and plead your case!

    You may wish to plan your visit to coincide with a run of events which are close together.

  3. A great list of events! Thanks for these, they’ll come in much use!

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