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Litfest 2021 — Closing Comments

I would just like to thank everyone who has joined us as we have sailed in and out of different literary worlds over the past 10 days.

At Litfest our ambition is to provide access to and the opportunity to engage with the best in contemporary literature, illustration and ideas. And even though this year has been so very different in the way we have delivered the festival to you, I believe we have achieved just that. However, you the audience will be the judge of that and we would very much welcome your feedback.

We have experienced superb illustrators, authors and poets from all over the world and we have enjoyed welcoming an audience who have travelled digitally to be with us from all over the world. We have celebrated local stories with our film project ‘How We Live Now’ and explored ‘How We Live Next’ with an expert cohort of writers and specialists. Next year, we hopefully will be inviting you physically to our beautiful city of Lancaster.

Throughout the festival we have been delighted that so many people have been able to donate towards our charity. We have been fortunate to have received funding this year from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and a range of sponsors including Achates Philanthropy. However, to develop more opportunities for events we do need your support, so please spread the word for us and donate or buy from our bookshop.

We still have more to look forward to over the next month. You can watch events you have may missed or revisit one you really enjoyed on our YouTube channel. We also have new projects,  including the release of A.C. Grayling’s “Five Key Questions about Democracy “ — five 8-10 minute videos based on his book ‘The Good State’.

There is still time to sign up for The Litfest Big Read and enjoy one of our chosen books: ‘Boy Everywhere’ by A.M. Dassu and ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig.

There is the competition for 11-16 year olds to win the chance of a VIP tour of Leighton Moss.

Our New Writing North West writers have been creating some amazing work and we will be sharing this towards the end of April.

The online International Book Club continues in April with ‘Tram 83’ by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from the French by Roland Glasser.

You can also visit our Poetry Map to see all the fantastic poems chosen and penned by people from all around the North West. The map remains open until 22nd April.

So there are still plenty of activities for you still to enjoy! We are hoping to bring you more events during 2021, so do keep watching our website and social media channels, and of course we will be back next March for our 43rd festival.

Thank you for support.

Julie Bell

The Chair, Lancaster Litfest.

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Litfest Poetry Day Double Bill — Change of Programming

Litfest regret to announce a late change to our line-up for Litfest’s Poetry Day on Saturday 20th March. Unfortunately, Sean O’Brien has had to withdraw from the our ‘Poetry Day Double Bill 1’ event at 2pm with Tara Bergin due to ill health. We wish Sean a speedy recovery and hope to welcome him back to Litfest again soon. In the meantime, you can hear him read extracts from his long poem ‘Hammersmith’ (part of his most recent collection It Says Here (2020) and marvel at Kate Sweeney’s wonderful images:

Hammersmith from K A Sweeney on Vimeo.  A response to extracts from Sean O’ Brien’s same-titled poem, ‘Hammersmith’ is an elegiac, hand-drawn animation produced on a single piece of paper, through a process of mark-making and erasure. The starting point for the visual aesthetic was Sweeney and O’Brien’s shared love of film noir, and the imagery, sweeping through 1950’s London, references the iconic cinematography from Jules Dessin’s 1950 noir film, ‘Night and the City’.

However, Litfest are delighted to announce that Dr Kim Moore has stepped into the breach. Kim is currently leading the poetry strand of our New Writing Northwest workshop series.

Dr Kim Moore is one of the founders of Kendal Poetry Festival. Her first full-length collection, The Art of Falling (2015), won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. She was one of the judges for the 2018 National Poetry Competition and the 2020 Forward Prizes for Poetry. She recently completed her doctorate on poetry and everyday sexism at Manchester Metropolitan University and her second collection, All the Men I Never Married, is due in October 2021.

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Litfest 2021 Programme

Alternatively, you can download a PDF of the programme here.

We are very excited to welcome to you to Litfest 2021, our fully digital and free festival! Packed full of exciting new initiatives alongside festival favourites.  Featuring Matt Haig, A.M. Dassu, Jackie Morris, Shaun Tan, Michal Marmot, Fatima Ibrahim, Johny Pitts, James Suzman, A.C. Grayling, Andrey Kurkov, Yvonne Battle-Felton, Karen Lloyd, Kim Moore, Daniel Hahn, Sarah Hall, Tim Birkhead, Paul Farley, James Clarke, Sarah Moss, Tara Bergin, Sean O’Brien, Raymond Antrobus, Colette Bryce, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Emma Rucastle and so much more!

Continue reading Litfest 2021 Programme