An author who topped the New York bestseller list is coming to Liverpool to be part of the city’s biggest ever literary festival.
Award winning writer John Boyne – who won international acclaim for his novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – will be heading to the Town Hall as part of the In Other Words festival to give a special talk about his career so far and his new book The House is Haunted.
The event which takes place on Tuesday 7 May from 7.30pm (doors open7pm) is free but tickets must be reserved due to limited capacity. Those interested can call the Town Hall on 0151 225 5530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
John said: “I’m delighted to be returning to Liverpool where authors always get an enthusiastic welcome, and especially pleased to be able to support the re opening of the Central Library which is such an important landmark for the city.”
The brand new festival starts on Tuesday 23 April and is a city-wide month-long celebration of the written and spoken word, marking the re-opening of Liverpool’s Central Library on Friday 17 May, which has undergone more than two years of intensive restoration.
There are 350 events taking place, 250 of which are unique to the festival and 88 venues, 85 organisations 72 authors are all involved.
Organisers are urging residents and visitors to book their places for ticketed events as soon as possible as places are booking up fast. Some of the events with tickets remaining are:
• James Herbert: A celebration of his life and work (25 April) – Following the sad death of the horror master who was due to take part in the festival, a special tribute evening will take place in the Williamson Tunnels. Ramsey Campbell will be joined by other acclaimed horror writers including Craig Cabell who was a friend and biographer to James. The authors will pay tribute to him and discuss the impact he had on the genre.
• The Beat Goes On (26 April) – Renowned Merseyside poets Roger McGough and Brian Patten take part in a rare double bill in the beautiful surroundings of St George’s Hall. The two shot to fame, alongside the late Adrian Henri, with one of the bestselling poetry anthologies of all time – The Mersey Sound (1967). Both will chat about their work, and the event will be introduced and chaired by Henri’s partner, Catherine Marcangeli.
• Afternoon Tea at the Town Hall (28 April) – Winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off John Whaite will head to Liverpool Town Hall to talk about his brand new recipe book. Guests can enjoy high tea as part of the event.
• In Celebration of Ireland (6 May) – Actor Stephen Colper takes to the Concert Room in St George’s Hall and performs texts from Ireland’s rich literary heritage, interwoven with music and song.
• Talking Myself Home (7 May) – Presenter of BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ Ian McMillan joins Luke Carver Goss In St George’s Hall for an evening of hilarious poems, music and comedy.
• 50 Billion Shades of Feminism (7 May) – Writer and Guardian journalist Bidisha hosts a discussion with leading domestic violence campaigners and talks about the need for action and the challenges facing the movement. The event takes place in The Women’s Organisation, St James Street.
• John Burnside and Rita Ann Higgins (9 May) – Taking place in Leaf on Bold Street, join award winning poets John and Rita for an evening of discussion about their work. John is one of only two poets to ever win the Forward Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot prize for the same book Black Cat Bone.
• Afternoon Tea with Maureen Lee (15 May) – Famous short story writer and romantic novelist, Maureen Lee, will read from her latest collection of stories in this rare opportunity to meet the woman behind the popular books. The event takes place at The Atrium Bar in the Empire Theatre.
• Shakespeare’s Local with Pete Brown (16 May) – From murderers, highwaymen and ladies of the night, Pete Brown, author and beer expert, will talk about what history your local has to offer!
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Since we announced the In Other Words programme in March we’ve had a fantastic response with tickets being snapped up for many of the events.
“To have yet another acclaimed author join the line-up is a real coup for the city, and just shows how keen people are to be part of the biggest literary festival this city has seen.
“There really is something for everyone – whatever your age and whatever your taste – so I hope as many people as possible make the most of the hundreds of events on offer and in doing so, celebrate the reopening of one of the city’s cultural jewels – Central Library.”
In Other Words events start on Tuesday 23 April when Liverpool plays host to national World Book Night which will take place outside of London for the first time.
World renowned authors Philippa Gregory, Jasper Fforde, Jeanette Winterson, Patrick Ness, Jackie Kay and Frank Cottrell Boyce will be appearing at a special ‘World Book Night Presentsâ¦’ event held in St George’s Hall.
The festival is being curated in partnership with Writing on the Wall, with the aim to make it a literary festival with a difference, appealing to established and budding writers and literary lovers alike. There is an emphasis on bringing events not only to high profile city buildings, but also to venues in various communities.
The festival will run until Sunday 19 May.
The reopening of the library on Friday 17 May coincides with LightNight which unlocks the doors of Liverpool’s world class museums, galleries and heritage sites offering spectacular light projections, interactive street theatre, a big samba party, thought-provoking exhibitions, open studios, a free running workshop, violin concerts, a late night food and drink festival, a candle-lit labyrinth, craft bombing, Chinese arts showcase, architecture tours, a late night Ceilidh, Lindy Hop, Jive, Rock and Roll and much more! Running from 4pm to late, more than 130 free events are open to the public.