A look ahead to the 2019 Huddersfield Literature Festival

Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet

Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet - Credit: Archant

Writers from the world of crime, sport and television make up a feast of entertainment

Bestselling writers and poets head the line-up for this year’s Huddersfield Literature Festival among them Chocolat author Joanne Harris talking about her long-awaited new novel, The Strawberry Thief.

Leading crime writers Ann Cleeves (Vera, Shetland series) and Cath Staincliffe (Blue Murder, Scott & Bailey) set the scene when they team up for a pre-festival event. Then the festival launches with a Ted Hughes and Phillip Larkin exhibition led by a performance from award-winning author Jonathan Tulloch, inspired by his acclaimed novel, Larkinland.

Sports journalist Rob Stewart will give a talk at Huddersfield’s John Smith Stadium, about the story of Huddersfield Town FC’s record-breaking 1979-80 season and performance poet Rose Condo presents a poetry cabaret with an all-Yorkshire line up. There is also a talk on Huddersfield in 50 Buildings as well as a Literary Huddersfield Walk, both with local writer Christopher Marsden.

Television personalities include Johnny Ball giving a talk about colourful figures from history; Julian Norton of The Yorkshire Vet fame, as well as marine biologist Dr Jon Copley, who worked as an advisor on Blue Planet II.

Politician turned award-winning author Alan Johnson will talk about his lifelong passion for music and his latest memoir, In My Life, while the editor of The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla, will discuss the themes of immigration and assimilation in his latest novel The One Who Wrote Destiny, which begins with a young man moving from Kenya to Keighley.

Events for families include storytelling, films and walkabouts celebrating the 30th birthday of Elmer the Elephant. The Fables & Fiction Cosplay Ball returns for a second year and there’s a new show from Perrier-nominated comedian Owen O’Neill.

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Aspiring and established writers and poets are invited to take part in a variety of writing and performance workshops including the popular annual Poetry Slam.

An evening of LGBTQ+ performers features the literary salon Polari Up North with host Paul Burston, VG Lee and Fiona Mozley, plus performances from poet Gerry Potter and comedian Rosie Wilby.

The festival’s Events Around Autism includes a showing of children’s film Sing sponsored by One17 Charitable Trust, plus Kate Fox’s Hyperlexic Cabaret. The Bibliotherapy Experience will take place as part of Disabled Access Day and a Wellbeing Weekend will include talks, a workshop and a film showing.

A special post-festival event will include a panel discussion with bestselling author Kit de Waal on Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers, plus a talk by the chief executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley, on his new book, Creativity: Why It Matters.

The award-winning Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF) runs from March 21st-31st.

There is full information about events, venues and tickets on the festival website huddlitfest.org.uk

About Huddersfield Literature Festival

The festival began in 2006, and takes place annually in March, offering a diverse programme of events at venues across the town. Recent performers include Dame Jenni Murray, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Vine, Alan Johnson MP, Ian Rankin, Lemn Sissay and Irvine Welsh.

The festival is well known for its accessibility to events, many are free or low cost, and several have live subtitling by Stagetext for audiences who have hearing difficulties. Full details are on the festival website.

The 2016 and 2017 festivals were both finalists in the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards, and the festival won a 2017 Huddersfield Examiner Community Award (Arts).

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