Sitting here in the office, while outside the wind harasses the trees and the clouds rush over our den of efficiency, I thought I'd take the time to explain our special offers in more detail. 2 for 1 is obviously self-explanatory, but the variety of events that are on offer deserve an introduction.
On our opening night, Friday 10th July, there is the opportunity for yourself and a friend to come along and enjoy the 'comedy-infused, musically-enhanced, interactive poetry' of the Wondermentalist Cabaret. Hosted by Radio 4 Saturday Live's Matt Harvey, it features Jerri Hart, Liv Torc, and Nomad Shuffle, along with an array of other Ways With Words festival writers.
For poet enthusiasts there is also the opportunity to join us the following morning as Terry Gifford recounts his survey on the life and work of Ted Hughes. Gifford will not just be examining the poet's reputation as a major literary figure, but also his role as a serious environmentalist, appealing to those of you that are interested in ecological issues.
For all you budding writers out there I definitely recommend Jane Borodale and Sarah Hall, newly accomplished authors themselves, who will be discussing the genesis of their fiction on Sunday 12th July. Borodale, writer and artist, will be focusing on her first novel, ‘The Book of Fires’, while Sarah Hall will be recounting the influences for her fourth novel, ‘How to Paint a Dead Man’.
The Desmond Elliott Prize for New Writers also holds an explanatory title, but it prompts me to stress the importance this event has to any budding writer. On Wednesday 15th a member of this year’s judging panel will be discussing emerging fiction, of which YOU may be a part in the near future, as well as exploring the actual dynamics behind a literary award worth £10,000 that ‘enriches the careers of new fiction writers’.
Later in the evening there is Shakespeare on Toast for those interested in a revelational snack. Ben Crystal will ‘sweep the cobwebs from the bard, bring colour to the words and reveal how exciting, relevant and thrilling the writings can be for a modern audience’ – essential for all you students of English Literature.
Thursday 16th sees Rob Perks and Jamie Andrews from the British Library, along with the author Graham Swift, reflect on 120 years of writers’ lives, illustrated by the British Library’s rich collection of writers’ personal papers, sound recordings and in-depth oral history interviews with living authors – of which Graham Swift is himself a part.
Last, but by no means least, there is the chance to observe the award-winning political cartoonist Martin Rowson give an illustrated account of how he works in ‘Doing Damage from a Distance’. Containing strong language, this will appeal to all those with an inner political activist waiting to break out!