Lit Fest plans to defy triskaidekaphobia
It was still winter outside Borders Books in North Swindon on 13 March, but the dreams of spring but a few days a week gave the launch of the 13th Swindon Festival of Literature a warm glow.
Festival director Matt Holland, below describes this year’s attractions.
Making plans for May for a fantastic festival of outdoor literary frolics and indoor intellectual delights, requires a particular leap of faith. The timetable is always tight one, he schedule gruelling and securing funding is a major worry. Then there are authors, performers and venues to be found and booked. This means countless letters, journeys, meetings, ?phone calls, not a few tricky negotiations, and the occasional slice of luck. No different, perhaps, to anyone else?s business and work in these challenging 21st Century times.
But all is sorted. The details are tied down, and the programme launched. Authors booked to appear for 1 to 13 May include veteran BBC news reporter Kate Adie, below, with her book Nobody?s Child, prize-winning columnist and social commentator Matthew Parris, former Tory minister turned novelist and television celebrity Anne Widdicombe, Oxford professor and arts commentator John Carey, BBC2 and Radio 4 arts reviewer Mark Lawson, glamorous television historian Bettany Hughes, northern poet and funnyman Les Barker, alternative magazine editor and friend of Prince Charles Satish Kumar, man of lists Nick Hornby, actress and voice of many parts Anna Massey, and local author and lively new kid on the best-seller block Annie Waller.
This year?s triskaidekaphobia-defying thirteenth Swindon Festival of Literature starts in Lawn Woods at dawn on Bank Holiday Monday 1 May with the ever popular Dawn Chorus.
Apart from the above-mentioned famous names, the subsequent 12 days also include the Clive Brain Memorial Lecture, the now nationally-famous Swindon Poetry Slam, the second Swindon Youth Poetry Slam, a Children & Families Weekend, plus a wide range of literary talks, performances, discussions, and readings at arts venues, the university, libraries, schools, pubs, parks, and even woodlands in and around Swindon.
The festival?s profile and reputation continue to grow. At every level, it has become a fantastic celebration for Swindon of things well written and things well said. People of all ages and backgrounds have a very good time.
They get together, meet authors, join in lively talk, explore new ideas, and even have a laugh!
The festival programme is now available in Swindon libraries, the information centre, good bookshops and other public buildings, or call 771080 or
The 2006 Swindon Festival of Literature is made possible by funding from the Arts Council of England, South West, whose support represents recognition of what has been achieved in literature development in Swindon.
Financial support is also provided by Dominic Winter Book Auctions, Swindon Borough Council, the University of Bath in Swindon, Swindon Learning Partnership, Lower Shaw Farm and the Open University, as well as valuable support and assistance from First Great Western, the National Union of Teachers, the Evening Advertiser, Holland Handling, Acorn Press, Waterstone?s and Borders Bookshops, Friends of the Festival, a host of other local organisations and individuals and of course, SwindonLink.