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Lancaster’s Literature Festival

16-25 October 2009 Box Office: Lancaster Visitor information Centre: 01524 582394

Welcome to litfest09! Dive in! Ten days, dozens of great books. This year there’s an even wider choice of novels, poetry, short stories and non-fiction. Dive in to an exciting festival full of excellent writers – from fresh new names to reading group favourites straight from the shortlists of the big literary prizes. There’s music, poems and laughter from our headline guests, the Ian McMillan Orchestra, who perform at The Dukes on Oct 18th. There are events to make you think, dream, laugh and cry.

Most of our events take place in The Storey Auditorium, The Storey Creative Industries Centre, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH If you’re not sure where we are, visit our website for a map or call the office on 01524 62166.

Book your tickets through the Lancaster Visitor Information Centre on 01524 582394 Offers - see something for free: This year we’re offering three events for the price of two on all fiction events – those marked with our 3 for 2 logo for anyone booking their tickets a week in advance. That means everything except workshops, the Ian McMillan Orchestra, and the poetry events on Sunday October 25. For the poetry events there’s another special offer – a whole day ticket for just £15 (£12 concessions). That’s four events for the price of two, and again you need to book your tickets a week in advance to take advantage of this offer. If you want to buy any of our festival books to read before the events, contact: Jonathan at We’ll have a bookstall at the festival, please remember we can only accept cash or cheques.

Access – this brochure is available in a large print format; we can also outline the programme over the telephone. Call litfest on 01524 62166. Detailed information about access at the venue is available on our website at or by calling litfest.

Sunday, 18th Oct, 8pm at The Dukes Theatre��, Lancaster ��������� Tickets £12.00 ( £8.00 concessions)��

n a l l i M c M n The Ia s e i r o t S p r a h S ’s a r t s e h c r O A scintillating night of poems, music, comedy and impro - like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

Yorkshire poet, broadcaster & comedian Ian McMillan teams up with composer & accordionist Luke Carver Goss – “British music at its most ingenious” The Guardian – and the mighty Orchestra in this sizzling mix of songs. Powerful, echoing tales of death by shanty, industrial manoeuvres, dads, voices found, iPod’s, 9/11, mining and the late great Ronnie Barker. For audiences 7 to 107. Featured on The South Bank Show, Loose Ends, Late Junction, The Mike Harding Show, BBC Proms Plus… CD Sharp Stories out on Taith Records.

“really lovely!” Stuart Maconie ‘Jovial Poetic Troll’ Mark Radcliffe

The Ian M cMillan O rche


The Ian McMillan Orchestra features: Ian McMillan voice; Luke Carver Goss accordion/guitar/ vocals; Dylan Fowler guitar/mandocello/vocals; Nathan Thomson double bass/flutes/kalimba; Oliver Wilson Dickson violin/percussion/vocals

“One of my all-time heroes - he’s such a talented bloke, I could kill him” Mike Harding Poet, comedian & broadcaster Ian McMillan hosts weekly hit radio show The Verb. He’s Yorkshire Planetarium’s Poet in Space, Poet-in-Residence for The Academy of Urbanism and Barnsley FC, Humberside Police’s Beat Poet, Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and a regular on Newsnight Review, The Mark Radcliffe Show, The Today Programme, You & Yours, Any Questions, Just A Minute… and Have I Got News For You? His rip-roaring poetry shows are legendary. Cats make him sneeze.

Tickets for this event can be booked through The Dukes Box Office: 0845 344 0642

16th October, 8pm tickets £4 (£2 concessions)


Kate Pullinger and Cynthia Mc Leod

Friday 16th Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £4.00 (£2.00 concessions)

Saturday 17th Oct, 5pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

The city’s popular Spotlight club features a sparkling line-up including poetry from Kim Moore, Ron Sc0wcroft, Martin Cheeseman and Peter Crompton, and music from Paddy Garrigan with compère Simon Baker.

Historical fiction uncovers the stories around two powerful, wealthy women – and societies that try to keep women in their place.

Kate Pullinger

Cynthia Mc Leod

“A lush and compelling tale of two very different women discovering a whole new world” The Gloss

Cynthia Mc Leod’s novel The Free Negress Elisabeth draws on research into the real life of an 18th Century black Surinamese woman. Elisabeth Samson had millions of dollars, but she sought the forbidden: to marry a white man. How could a black woman in a time of slavery have accumulated so much wealth? And why then was she so eager to marry a white man?

“Beautifully told and moving” The Guardian Kate Pullinger’s novel The Mistress of Nothing follows Lady Duff Gordon, the toast of Victorian London, who sets sail with her lady’s maid, Sally, for a new life in Egypt. But as both women adapt, Sally learns that freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill afford.

Writer’s Sketchbook Saturday 17th Oct, 2-5pm at The Alexandra Gallery, University of Cumbria. Tickets Free A writing workshop with Eliza Mood with an evening sharing as part of litfest at 6:30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets free.

Writers from the workshop can perform their work in the Storey Auditorium at an early evening sharing.

A writers’ workshop based around an exhibition of portraits by Andrew Ratcliffe at the Alexandra Gallery, University of Cumbria.

New and experienced writers welcome. Places are strictly limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the box office.

Andrew Ratcliffe has exhibited extensively in the UK and has painted members of the royal family, as well as celebrities from the world of politics and entertainment. The workshop will use the portraits as inspiration for writing: write what you see, or imagine changing places with the subjects and see what they see.

Eliza Mood is Course Leader for Creative Writing at the University of Cumbria and a member of Six Poets, a group of poets performing in Lancaster.

There’ll also be chance to work on performance skills.

Cynthia Mc Leod is the daughter of the last Governor and first President of Suriname. She is is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on Surinamese history.

Kate Pullinger

Cynthia Mcleod photo by chrisvanhouts

Steven Hall and Ellis Sharp Saturday 17th Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions) How does experimental writing explore vital questions about the relationship between knowledge and power, freedom and control in the modern world?

Steven Hall “Fast, sexy, intriguing, intelligent... a cult waiting to happen, a blockbuster begging to be made.” Toby Litt “The bastard love child of The Matrix, Jaws and The Da Vinci Code. Very entertaining.” Mark Haddon Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn’t recognise, unable to remember who he is. Attacked by a force he cannot see and confronted with memories he cannot ignore, Eric discovers he is being hunted

by a psychic shark. Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty) has recently completed a film adaptation of Steven Hall’s novel The Raw Shark Texts.

Ellis Sharp Ellis Sharp is the author of three novels – The Dump, Unbelievable Things and Walthamstow Central – though he is perhaps best known for his seven collections of surreal comic stories, many of which mix an interest in the paranormal, cinema and rock music with the politics and personalities of historical figures.

Steven Hall photo by Jerry Bauer

Ellis Sharp

Dave Simpson, Peter Wild and Niall Griffiths

Jacob Polley

Saturday 17th Oct, 9.30pm at The Storey AuditoriumTickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

Sunday 18th Oct, 2.00pm, at Poulton Library. Tickets Free

Fact and fiction inspired by the post-punk band The Fall.

In this special event for reading groups presented by Litfest and Lancashire Libraries, Jacob Polley reads from and discusses his debut novel Talk of the Town.

even out of his own skin.

1986, the last day of the summer holidays, and Chris is wondering why his best mate has disappeared. Carlisle is buzzing with rumours. Populated by a menacing and hilarious cast of characters this is the story of a boy desperate to get out of town, out of a bad situation,

Litfest’s Artistic Director Andy Darby will ask the author questions that reading groups have posed. Reading Groups are invited to send questions in advance of the event to:

Ever been asked to play at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals with musicians you’ve just met who are covered in blood, or taken part in a ‘recording session’ in a speeding Transit? If so you’ve probably been in The Fall.

Dave Simpson made it

his mission to track down everyone who has ever played in Britain’s most berserk, brilliant group. In The Fallen: Searching for the Missing Members of The Fall, he uncovers a changing Britain, tales of madness and genius, and wreaks havoc on his personal life. Dave Simpson writes on music and the arts for the Guardian newspaper from his

base in the North of England. “The best book yet on a band that have evolved into a cross between a large Victorian family and a rehab unit.” The Times.

“Defiantly uncompromising... successfully evokes the spirit of The Fall” Daily Telegraph

“Riveting stuff. **** ” Q Magazine

The writing leaps off the page…it throws up something so original and striking that it takes up permanent residence in a reader’s head.” Daily Telegraph

Dave will be joined by

Peter Wild, the editor of

Perverted by Language: Fiction Inspired by the Fall and two contributors, including Niall Griffiths. Twenty-three writers choose a song by The Fall and use it as inspiration for a short story. Mechanical ducks, shark women that taste of liquorice, and celebrity deer-culling – this is just a glimpse into the wonderful and frightening world of Perverted by Language.

“A witty, dark and often surreal anthology ” Metro

Niall Griffiths is the

author of six novels: Grits, Sheepshagger, Kelly + Victor, Stump, Wreckage, and Runt. “Niall Griffiths is unrivalled as the literary voice of contemporary Wales… He mixes gritty realism with myth, poetry and regular doses of bone-cracking violence” Metro

Jacob Polley was selected as one of the Next Generation of British poets in 2004.

Jacob Polley

EC Osundu and Chika Unigwe Monday 19th Oct, 8.00pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions) Litfest presents writers from the The Caine Prize - ‘the African Booker’ – as it celebrates its tenth year with an international tour.

EC Osundu EC Osundu was born in Nigeria and moved to New York to study for his MA in Creative Writing. This year he won the Caine Prize for African Writing for his story ‘Waiting.’ “a tour de force describing, from a child’s point of view, the dislocating experience of being a displaced person... powerfully written... and deeply moving.” Prize judge Nana Yaa Mensah

EC Osundo

Chika Unigwe In Chika Unigwe’s novel, On Black Sisters Street, four women have made their way from Africa to claim the riches of Europe. Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce are prostitutes who stand in the windows of the red-light district. The murder of Sisi shatters their already fragile world and the stories they have kept hidden are finally told. Chika Unigwe’s stories have been broadcast on BBC World Service, Radio Nigeria, and other Commonwealth Radio Stations. She won the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for her story ‘Borrowed Smile’. ‘The Secret’ was nominated for the 2004 Caine Prize. Dave Simpson photo by Helga Totale

Peter Wild photo by Jonathan Bean

Niall Griffiths photo by Toril Brancher

Chika Unigwe photo by Rocio Motty

Pennine Lancashire Stanza Poetry Group

Poetry Goes Digital in the Storey Auditorium

Tuesday 20th Oct, 6pm at the Storey Auditorium. Tickets free.

Help build a digital map of poetry in Britain! Visit the Storey Auditorium – any afternoon between 2pm and 4pm from Monday to Friday (19 to 23). Free entry.

A reading by poets from Pennine Lancashire Stanza Poetry Group based in Clitheroe reveals a wide variety of voices, tones and moods. Group members’ wide experiences are vocalised in a fascinating range of poetry.

Global Poetry System is a Southbank Centre project to explore and map the poetry of the world. It’s based on the idea that poetry is all around us, from gravestones to graffiti, from birthday cards to blogs, in the landscape and in our memories. GPS invites you to take a fresh look at where you are and find the poetry that inspires you. Photograph it, video it, audio record it or write it down – tell the

We’re happy to welcome some of the best writers from the Ribble Valley, Burnley and Pendle to the festival.

DJ Taylor and John Murray Tuesday 20th Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

world where it is on the map. Southbank Centre is collaborating with partner organisations Academi, Apples & Snakes, Dylan Thomas Centre, Litfest, NALD, Scottish Poetry Library, Verbal Arts Centre and Wordquake to seek out poetry across the UK and beyond.

Alison MacLeod and Panos Karnezis

Two contemporary novelists – one a critic, one the founder of a literary magazine – read from their work and discuss the state of the novel today

Wednesday 21st Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

DJ Taylor

John Murray

“while the style and sweep of the book will captivate, its enthralling plot and the irresistible glamour of the world it depicts will hold the reader until the final page.” Good Book Guide

“A Murray novel is more like a comic opera, full of splendid arias, farcical encounters between characters who can be fairly described as “larger than life”, and the very serious business of human love.” The Independent

Alison MacLeod

In The Legand of Liz and Joe it’s 2008 and Joe Gladstone’s North Cumbrian guesthouse is losing a packet, not least because of the unusual demands he makes of his guests. Meanwhile, his wife Liz has embarked on her first extramarital affair at the age of seventy, and has started having spiritual visions.

Alison MacLeod’s collection of short stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction, was one of ten books shortlisted for ‘The Book to Talk About in 2009’ Award – part of World Book Day.

“Elegant and compelling” New Books DJ Taylor’s novel Ask Alice takes us into late 1920s London high life, where Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner, and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to a Kansas train-ride, with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. DJ Taylor was born in Norwich in 1960. He is a novelist, critic and acclaimed biographer. His Orwell: The Life won the Whitbread Biography of the year award for 2003.

John Murray has published eight novels and a collection of stories, Pleasure, which won the Dylan Thomas Award. In 2004 his reissued satirical extravaganza Radio Activity – A Cumbrian Tale in Five Emissions, was hailed on Radio 4 as a neglected classic. He founded the celebrated fiction magazine Panurge.

The first of two short story events at Litfest.

“There’s a giddying range of things to think about in MacLeod’s collection of short stories, which range from gleeful comedy to aching tragedy… from a man who goes chasing after a pregnant woman in the midst of a riot at Ikea, to ECT patient Gloria who thrills to the presence of her anaesthetist, ‘Dr Numb’ ” The Guardian

John Murray

“Her stories create intimate worlds... and make the reader live in them with an intensity which is haunting, disturbing and above all beguiling.” Helen Dunmore

Alison Macleod photo by Kate Macleod

Panos Karnezis “Sly, witty, fantastical, and tragic, with just a touch of something oldfashioned about them...A terrific read.” The Seattle Times In a nameless Greek village, the lives of its citizens and even its animals (a centaur, a parrot that recites Homer, a horse called History) are entwined. Their hidden crimes are revealed in a place full of passion, cruelty, and deep reserves of black humour. DJ Taylor photo by Katie Vandyck

“[Karnezis] has a sharp, unsentimental eye for contemporary Greek life” The New Yorker Panos Karnezis was born in Greece in 1967 and moved to England in 1992.

Panos Karnezis photo by Vana Avgerinou

Milk and Martha Proctor

James Lasdun and Sean O’Brien

Thursday 22nd Oct, 6pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets free.

Friday 23rd Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

Case books telling the stories of the lost and confused inmates of the Lancaster Moor County Asylum are among the historical records that have given birth to Milk and Martha Proctor. The case books are a small part of the archive collections at Lancashire Record Office, covering many facets of the county’s history from the 1100s onwards. Selected documents gave inspiration for

creative writing – poetry, prose and scripts – based around the stories they tell. The project began in February and has encouraged some high-quality written contributions which the Record Office is pleased to be publishing, and we’re glad to help celebrate.

Short fiction from some of its finest practitioners.

James Lasdun “Enter, then, the mesmerising world of James Lasdun, and marvel at his mastery of the short story form.” “There is something so rich and gripping in his prose… It’s Beginning to Hurt is a collection to jump-start your imagination” Aesthetica

Join us to learn more about the project and the Record Office, and to hear some of the participants reading from their work.

James Lasdun was born in London and lives in New York. He has published three collections of stories, three books of poetry and two novels. His first book of short stories, The Silver Age won a Dylan Thomas Award, and was followed by Three Evenings and the selection The Siege, the title story of which was made into a film by Bernardo Bertolucci (’Beseiged’). In 2006 he won the first National Short Story competition.

Andrew Miller and Sarah Hall Thursday 22nd Oct, 8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

His latest collection of stories, It’s Beginning to Hurt was featured on Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime in March.

Fiction from Booker-shortlisted novelists.

Andrew Miller

Sarah Hall

“The prose is as delicate as a Japanese print.” Sunday Times

“Sarah Hall’s writing is powerful as well as delicate, and How to Paint a Dead Man affords the deepest pleasures fiction has to offer.” Nadeem Aslam

“He has the rare gift of tossing out perfect sentences that make you stop in your tracks.” Metro 1940. Japan is at war with China, and Yuji Takano is clinging to the life he has made for himself as a young poet. But his father is disgraced, his allowance is scrapped, and the threat of conscription is coming ever closer. And then there is Alissa... A timeless story about growing up, and a fascinating portrait of a bygone Tokyo and of Japan at a critical juncture in its history. Andrew Miller’s third novel, Oxygen, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker prize.

“This deeply sensual novel is what you rarely find – an intelligent page-turner which, perversely, you also want to read slowly to savour Hall’s luscious way of looking at the world.” Sunday Telegraph

Sean O’Brien “Hugely entertaining... superbly chilling.” The Guardian

Andrew Miller photo by Abbie Trayler-Smith

How to Paint a Dead Man is a complex and intimate study of art, loss and humanity spanning 50 years, told through four interweaving stories. Sarah Hall lives and works in Cumbria. Her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was short – listed for the Booker Prize in 2004.

James Lasdun photo by Nina Subin

“His stories glint with black comedy and touches of the macabre and surreal... in the kingdom of backstreet pubs, tired, desirable girls and Square Cuts Flax001 – a colourful, sharp and drowned men. Nothing is ever as it seems: it is much more frightening than that… First-class stories from one of our finest writers.” readable digital anthology of Helen short fictions. Dunmore

Sean O’Brien

Chain-smoking alcoholics, warring academics, gothic stalkers and aspiring writers are just some of the visitors that browse the mysterious library at the heart of Sean O’Brien’s fiction debut. Sean O’Brien has published 7 collections of poetry to great acclaim.

Short Fiction Writing Workshop with James Lasdun Saturday 24th Oct, 10.30am - 1.30pm at Litfest, Level 1, The Storey. Tickets £25 (£15 Concessions)

Sarah Hall photo by Martin Figura

Spend a morning exploring short fiction with James Lasdun. Be ready to investigate a classic short story and to write your own. Places are strictly limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jenn Ashworth, Chris Killen and Richard Milward

Hunting the Giant’s Daughter

Friday 23rd Oct, 9.30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

An evening to savour, offering an intoxicating mix of lively storytelling and music.

Saturday 24th Oct, 6:30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

The future of fiction - new novelists, two of them chosen by Waterstones for their New Voices 2009.

“a hugely readable debut novel… about the inability to know others and ourselves” The Independent Jenn Ashworth is a Preston based novelist, blogger and short story writer. Her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy was published by Arcadia in 2009. A Waterstones New Voices 2009 choice, she is currently working on her second novel.

Richard Milward “brings the love story kicking and screaming up to date...’’ Irvine Welsh, The Guardian Ten Storey Love Song follows the lives of the inhabitants of Peach House, a tower block in the heart of Middlesbrough. It charts Bobby the Artist’s

him. She brings meaning to his urban existence and his McJob. But soon devotion leads Will to something darker.

“Look away if you’re easily shocked, otherwise pre-order now.’” Lauren Laverne, Grazia

“so fresh it practically pings with energy… fizzes with deadpan wit and cutting one-liners. … an exciting debut from a novelist already beginning to display maturity beyond his years.’ The Independent

Another on the Waterstones New Voices 2009 list, Richard Milward is 24. He was shortlisted for the 2007 South Bank Show Times Breakthrough Award.

Chris Killen The Bookseller and style bibles Vice and Dazed and Confused have hailed 27 year old Chris Killen as a leading new talent for 2009.

Hunting the Giant’s Daughter is based on the oldest surviving Arthurian legend from The Mabinogion. Culhwch is destined to fall instantly in love with Olwen – a woman who nobody knows how to find! The seemingly impossible odds draw King Arthur and his knights into a magical quest to find and then win her from one of

Lynne Denman, Storyteller Michael Harvey Michael Harvey, weaves Welsh poetry into Stacey Blythe this imaginative tale, around traditional Welsh and jazz influenced music, performed by Stacey Blythe (accordion, piano, harp) and singer Lynne Denman. Suitable for adults and children aged 12+

Brenda, Effie and Paul Magrs Saturday 24th Oct, 9.30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions) Alan Bennett meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Paul Magr’s Brenda and Effie books.

Chris Killen’s first novel, The Bird Room, is a love story with a twist. When a boy named Will meets Alice, he can’t believe his luck. She’s smart, sexy and in love with

For one night we pretend that the Storey Auditorium is the ghoulish seaside town of Whitby as we celebrate the fourth book in the series. “Gloriously, zanily ludicrous…Magrs presents us with something unique, idiosyncratic and unclassifiable.” The Guardian Chris Killen

“…who wouldn’t kill for a comic gift like Jenn Ashworth’s?” The Guardian

rise to stardom and horrific drug psychosis, Johnnie’s attempts to stop thieving and start pleasing Ellen in bed and truck driver Alan Blunt.

Richard Milward

Jenn Ashworth

the fiercest giants in the land – her father! Culhwch faces a lengthening list of increasingly difficult and dangerous tasks if he is ever to claim the hand of the woman he loves.

“This is ideal holiday entertainment, best enjoyed Brenda-style, with feet up on a comfy pouffe.” The Independent

Mostly Truthful Flax019 Launch Saturday 24th Oct, 2.00pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets free Join us for the launch of Flax’s first nonfiction prose anthology, Mostly Truthful. The anthology is a vibrant mix of thinking, exploring nostalgia and the future. Kate Feld, Jane Routh, Adrian Slatcher and Katherine Woodfine are honest, direct and generous writers and promise to warm your afternoon.

In Whitby, the ageless and mysterious Brenda keeps her tidy bed and breakfast. Her best friend, the elderly Effie runs a junk shop next door. Both want a quiet life, with regular fish suppers and tea out. But Whitby’s ruined abbey rests on the very site of the gateway to Hell – and it’s their job to control the ghouls that find their way into town.

“He delights in creating characters who are both impeccably ordinary and staggeringly strange…a powerful writer.” TLS Jenn Ashworth photo by Martin Figura

The Litfest team will be dressing up as characters from the book. Join us and dress up too (if you want – we’ll not force you!) – there’s plenty of choice: elderly lady, a sophisticated conman, a Christmas elf, or just a passing tourist... we’ll put some ideas on our website. There’s a set of signed Brenda and Effie books for the best costume as judged by the man who created the characters.

Paul Magrs

Litfest’s Bookcase Launch 1.30pm at litfest in The Storey. Tickets free. We open our new bookshop with a short reading from poet Carole Coates (Looking Good, Shoestring Press). We’re stocking lots of lovely poetry books from independent presses that don’t make it to the high street.

Sunday 25t h

October Book a wee k in advan ce to get all four eve nts for the price of two !

2.30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

John McAuliffe

James Caruth

John McAuliffe grew up in Listowel, County Kerry. His first collection, A Better Life (2002), was shortlisted for a Forward Prize.

“James Caruth writes with warmth and humanity. His poems are accurate reminders of what really matters, in our relationships with each other and with the natural world.” Jean Sprackland James Caruth was born in Belfast in 1953. He lived in South Africa for a number of years before settling in Sheffield.

“No cheap flourishes, no ingratiating mannerisms, just the real stuff, hard – won, handsomely brought off. This guy’s the total package,” August Kleinzahler

John McAuliffe

“There is a WOW factor in David Grubb’s poems, whether it be the sheer extraordinariness of what he’s describing or in a poem that takes your breath away.” Newsletter Review

Luke Kennard’s second collection was shortlisted for the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize, making him at 26 the youngest ever nominee.

Much of his work has been influenced by working in conflict zones and areas of extreme poverty. “The poems of David Grubb are exhilarating as a waterfall...” Adrian Mitchell

Paula Jennings Paula’s poems frequently begin life as an image or phrase rather than an idea. Even the

sounds of poems in unfamiliar languages are used as vehicles to surprising destinations. Critics have commented on ‘the assured and innovative way she handles language’ and ‘willingness to take risks’.

Ann Sansom

Paula Jennings

8pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

James Caruth

Two writers who use language to go on rollercoaster adventures into the surreal and absurd, the unsettling and existential..

“To read him is to be startled into remembering exactly how exciting and energetic language can be.... Kennard is an undoubted original, driven by a mature intelligence and a giant wit... “ Andy Brown

“Naturally accomplished and instinctively organised poems… there is a maturity to her work, a sureness of hand... a bareknuckle confidence” Simon Armitage

the poignancy of the everyday, with a quiet and measured voice, that is the more powerful for its restraint.” Dazed and Confused

James Lasdun and Michael Laskey

4pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

David Grubb

Two confident women’s voices; both engage with the emotional realities of the world and transform them with their own distinctive visions.

“The disparate poems... capture

Luke Kennard and David Grubb

Luke Kennard

6.30pm at The Storey Auditorium. Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concessions)

Ann Sansom

John McAuliffe and James Caruth One poet from the South and one from the North of Ireland who’ll make you believe there is an Irish gift with language.

Ann Sansom and Paula Jennings

David Grubb

Two English poets who elevate everyday events and concerns by their depth of feeling, clear eye and formal skill. While one is resident in rural USA, one is established at home – giving radically different subject matter.

James Lasdun “Brilliant ....certainly among the most gifted, vivid, and deft poets now writing in English.” Anthony Hecht, author of The Darkness and the Light

Luke Kennard

James Lasdun’s poems have been shortlisted

for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Poetry Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. “Deeply literary, but cool as well...these verses will ensure there are laurels on Lasdun’s brow for many years to come.” The Guardian

Michael Laskey “our poetic Alan Bennett – a genius of, as it were, biscuit barrels and wry grief. Unflinching, subtle, clear, emotionally precise, uncensored, touching, occasionally erotic, particular, these

are very, very good poems” Craig Raine Michael Laskey has published four collections of poetry and three pamphlets. He founded the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989. Michael Laskey

“no poet in the UK today reads his own work better.” – Naomi Jaffa, Director, The Poetry Trust.

James Lasdun photo by Nina Subin

Fri 16th Oct, 8.00pm


Sat 17th Oct, 2.00pm

Writer’s Sketchbook with Eliza Mood

Sat 17th Oct, 5.00pm Sat 17th Oct, 6.30pm Sat 17th Oct, 8.00pm

Cynthia Mc Leod and Kate Pullinger Writer’s Sketchbook sharing Steven Hall and Ellis Sharp Dave Simpson, Peter Wild and Niall

Sat 17th Oct, 9.30pm Sun 18th Oct, 2.00pm Sun 18th Oct, 8.00pm Mon 19th to Fri 23rd Oct, 2.00pm Mon 19th Oct, 8.00pm Tues 20th Oct, 6.00pm Tues 20th Oct, 8.00pm Wed 21st Oct, 8.00pm Thur 22nd Oct, 6.00pm Thur 22nd Oct, 8.00pm Fri 23rd Oct, 8.00pm Fri 23rd Oct, 9.30pm

Griffiths Jacob Polley Ian McMillan Orchestra Global Poetry System EC Osundu and Chika Unigwe Pennine Lancashire Stanza Poetry Group DJ Taylor and John Murray Alison MacLeod and Panos Karnezis Milk and Martha Proctor Andrew Miller and Sarah Hall James Lasdun and Sean O’Brien Richard Milward, Jenn Asworth and

The Storey, Auditorium Alexandra Gallery, University of Cumbria, Lancaster The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium Poulton Library The Dukes The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium

Sat 24th Oct, 10.30am

Chris Killen James Lasdun Short Fiction Workshop Flax019 Launch with Adrian Slatcher,

Sat 24th Oct, 2.00pm

Katherine Woodfine, Jane Routh and

The Storey, Auditorium

Sat 24th Oct, 6.30pm Sat 24th Oct, 9.30pm Sun 25th Oct, 1.30pm Sun 25th Oct, 2.30pm Sun 25th Oct, 4.00pm Sun 25th Oct, 6.30pm Sun 25th Oct, 8.00pm

Kate Feld Hunting the Giant’s Daughter Paul Magrs Bookcase Launch with Carole Coates John McAuliffe and James Caruth Luke Kennard and David Grubb Paula Jennings and Ann Sansom James Lasdun and Michael Laskey

The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Litfest The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium The Storey, Auditorium

The Storey, Litfest

Tickets available from Lancaster Visitor Information Centre Telephone 01524 582 394 or in person at The Storey or buy online at

Large Print brochure available on request.

All details are correct at the time of going to press. We reserve the right to change the programme if circumstances dictate. Lancaster & District Festival Ltd, trading as litfest. Registered Company No. 1494221. Registered Charity No. 510670.

Litfest 2009 Brochure  

Literature Festival events in Lancaster

Litfest 2009 Brochure  

Literature Festival events in Lancaster