Louis de Bernieres is a prize-winning and best-selling author ‘with an eye for a curious tale or compelling character’* – and he’s also a poet.
Louis’ best-selling works – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Birds Without Wings – are rooted in his poetry.
With his first collection, Imagining Alexandria, Louis has paid homage to modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. In his latest novel, The Dust that Falls From Dreams set in World War One, Rose, the romantic lead, uses poetry as therapy.
The Guardian wonders if Louis is too optimistic to be a poet – do you agree? Should poets be melancholic?
Find food for thought with Louis and his novel and poetry, on Thursday 12 May.
Poetry can be magical, but it’s not often poetry and magic tricks are mixed. Paul Hyland is a top magician, published poet and travel writer. Performing just after Louis on 12th May, Paul brings together sleight of hand and language, and a few traveller’s tales.
You can attend both for a special double bill ticket price.
More poetic mixing goes on courtesy of Poetry Swindon’s Hilda Sheehan. Free on 4th May at Swindon Central Library is Poetry Swindon 78s – poems and other writings performed to old 78 vinyl records. In the 1970s-themed Hilda’s Lounge, special guests will entertain a small audience at the Richard Jefferies Museum, 13th May. The best of local writing and art is celebrated at A Swindon Affair at former railway museum The Platform, on 7th May.
Also mid-festival, two poetry slams will crown the best performance poets, young and older at the Swindon Youth Slam! and Swindon Slam!, on 7th May. The Swindon Slam! attracts competitors from all over, but we’d love a Swindonian to win this year.
Come and have a go if you think you’re Bard enough!
If a competition is not for you but you’d love to read your own work – or that of your favourite poet – take part in Poetry Swindon’s Open Mic, on 8 May.
Other poetry-infused events include the Dawn Chorus, the Children and Families Day and the Festival Finale.
For more information or to book tickets, visit www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk