23rd March 2018


The 25th Swindon festival of Literature is launched!

It’s hard to believe it, But the Swindon festival of literature is 25!! Blimey! That means I’ve been coming to literature festival events almost from its outset. I moved to Swindon in 1993. I can’t imagine I knew about it when I first got here. But I suspect I’ve been attending from it’s 2nd/3rd year. As Charlie Brown says: ‘Good grief!’

Running from 7th to 19th May the Swindon festival of literature programme includes: 

sesquipedalian novelist and broadcaster Will Self; the longest-serving female MP Harriet Harman with her book A Woman’s Work; author of best-selling Why Mummy Drinks Gill Sims; philosopher A C Grayling, who will talk about the nature of democracy today; oldest gold medal-winning runner Jo Pavey with her book This Mum Runs; popular poet Pam Ayres; great granddaughter of Emily, Dr Helen Pankhurst; tennis coach and mother of Wimbledon champions Judy Murray, with her book Knowing the Score; songwriter and queen of folksingers, who is indirectly responsible for one of the greatest love songs ever written, Peggy Seeger, with her book First Time Ever; children’s author and broadcaster Michael Rosen; artificial intelligence expert Professor Alan Winfield; outspoken broadcaster and writer Afua Hirsch; international authority on making something of your town or city, Charles Landry; Chief Executive of Arts Council England Darren Heaney with his book on why it makes sense to invest in the Arts and Culture; poets Jacquline Saphra and Hilary Davies; controversial carer Camila Batmanghelidjh; former Punk musician and now brilliant writer Viv Albertine; Booker Prize-winning novelist, and poet,Ben Okri; and Oxford relationships researcher Dr Anna Machin with her book on the role of dads today!

As well as these named authors, there are also numerous others, plus talks, discussions, readings, and storytelling, at theatres, arts venues, libraries, parks, historic houses, and even an old ex-cowshed, in Swindon!

Festival standing dishes also include the early-morning Dawn Chorus; the ninth and unique Swindon Think Slam; a Children & Families Day; the twenty-second Swindon Poetry Slam; and the fabulous Poems, Pints, and Music Finale!

In lovely Lydiard Park, on the very first day of the Festival, there will be a freedom run, a health walk, and a fascinating talk!

Read about the launch here on Festival Chronicles: https://festivalchronicle.com/2018/03/22/programme-launch-answers-convention-with-defiance-and-longevity/

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