“Grace and Mary is not a book about dementia, BBC broadcaster Melvyn Bragg is keen to point out. Nor it is about his own experiences. Yet without either influences, his latest novel would not exist in the form it does.”
Melvyn Bragg talks to the Liverpool Daily Post before appearing at the city’s In Other Words festival on 11 May, just after the publication of his new novel. Cumbrian audiences can catch him in Wigton on 18 May and Carlisle on 6 June. (See our Calendar pages for details). Read more >>
A brand new multi-authored ‘immersive’ theatre experience opens at The Dukes in Lancaster next week, taking its audience for an oddball promenade performance in the building’s backstage nooks and crannies. Every show will be different and will be shaped and created by the audience.
In Derwentwater, Melvyn Bragg reminds us, ” … is an island which used to be called St. Erebert’s after the saint who lived there in the 7th Century, and his greatest wish was to die on the same day as St. Cuthbert, and meet him in Heaven. Meetings of a more earthly variety now take place at a festival devoted to words, which attracts literally thousands of wordseekers looking perhaps, like St. Erebert, for their small purchase on an elevated kingdom.”
The Wordsworth Trust’s annual Arts and Book Festival starts this Friday and promises a packed weekend of events. Highlights include biographers Nicholas Roe and Jenny Uglow on Keats and Sarah Losh, Cumbrian MP Rory Stewart talking about the literature of travel, poet and beachcomber Jean Sprackland’s personal perspective on the land- and seascape of Liverpool Bay, and Cumbrian novelists Christopher Burns and Catherine Hall.
An award-winning play written by Brigham actor Emma Rydal is on tour as part of the Arts Out West programme, with performances in Gosforth, Millom and Thursby.
Carlisle has not one but two poetry reading groups starting up this month – one at independent bookshop Bookends, led by poet Malcolm Carson, and the other as part of Martyn Halsall’s poet-in-residence stint at Carlisle Cathedral.
Stand-out stand-up poet Elvis McGonagall headlines this year’s Maryport LitFest at the Senhouse Roman Museum, performing alongside fellow BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live regular, Kate Fox. The festival opens on Friday 2 November with the heavyweight pairing of biographer and novelist Max Egremont and the grande dame of the Cumbrian art world, Mary Burkett.
Nope, you haven’t just walked into a scene from an undiscovered Jack Kerouac novel. Hopefully you might walk into this Carlisle caff though, and peg a poem on their poetry washing line.
Refusing to be downhearted or deterred after losing their Arts Council grant (along with many another excellent arts org), the Litfest team have managed top pull another festival out of the hat.
John Hegley headlines a programme of “exclusive performances of specially commissioned work, a live story walk, readings in the streets of Lancaster, all day shindigs to celebrate the best of poetry and prose, and a string of gothic events.”
Deborah Parkin’s distinctively edgy and atmospheric black and white photographs of her children are complemented by a series of poems written especially for her exhibition at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake.
After a couple of years in Cumbria that started badly – he thought he’d come on holiday by mistake, like Withnail – poet Martin Malone is sorry to be leaving for the soft south, aka Wiltshire. He’s swapping the corridors of Queen Elizabeth Grammar in Penrith for the playing fields of St John’s School in Marlborough, but before he goes he’s having a bit of a do.
Bookends in Carlisle is throwing itself whole-heartedly into the spirit of Independent Booksellers Week (30 June to 7 July) with a wide variety of author events and activities – from storytelling to Gruffalo parties and Wally hunting.
Or should that be summer write-off? Mungrisedale Writers’ open programme of summer workshops – all on the theme of journeys – led by professional writers in a warm, dry village hall, will be going ahead whatever the weather.
Book now if you want to secure a place. Read more>>