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FRI 12 FEB – SUN 14 FEB 2021 w w w. w o l v e s l i t e r a t u r e fe s t i v a l . c o . u k


8 CONTENTS Pre-festival events Friday 12 February Saturday 13 February Sunday 14 February Children and families At a glance

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WELCOME TO WOLVERHAMPTON’S 5TH ANNUAL LITERATURE FESTIVAL This popular event is now entering its fifth year and thanks to funding from Arts Council England it is now a regular feature on the city’s calendar. While this year we are having to do things differently we still have a great variety of entertainment lined up for the three-day festival with over 35 different events. Visitors will be able to listen to talks, watch performances and take part in practical workshops. All events have been organised with safety in mind. We will be monitouring Government guidance carefully and will inform you of any changes to events. BOOKING INFORMATION This year tickets can be purchased or booked through eventbrite. All chargeable tickets are subject to a booking fee. Due to the announcement on Monday 4 January all events will now take place online. For further information on fees please visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and for festival information visit www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk. WITH THANKS…

The festival has been made possible by generous contributions from artists and local businesses which celebrate the creativity of our city. We are very grateful for the support of Arts Council England and our other partners: Express & Star, Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists and the University of Wolverhampton, in bringing the festival to life.


Theatre and Performance




Music, Art and Film


Literature, Talks and Readings


www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk


Sat 6 Feb 7.30pm – 9.30pm

POETRY SLAM Zoom Join 15 competitors as they share their poems for the chance to win a paid slot at our 2022 festival! Expect poetry at its finest, a little bit of chaos, shots of people’s living rooms & bookcases and a showcase of Dave Pitt’s excellent excel skills. Tickets: £7 (+ booking fee) Thu 11 Feb 8pm


TBC JEFNY ASHCROFT: NURSE BROWN Online A play searching for answers: What was the woman in the mysterious portrait really like? What is her legacy to us? And what is she telling us with her hands? Tickets: Free


Jon will recount some of his greatest adventures from across his 30 year career, and will discuss how his storytelling has evolved over those years. The talk will take in his memories of writing Them, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test, Lost at Sea and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The talk will be followed by a live Q&A. Tickets: Tickets: £12 (+ booking fee)


m – 8pm p 7 | b e F Thu 11

ALK: T L E ALK N T A P D C N A BB E U Y TONG R T N U O C ition of the Country ed City of BLACK k c la B e th tion of '. Join crea Poets Zoom ir role in the nd Talk - The Dialect tters to actress, e th t u o b a a lk na Panellists ta4 programme 'Tongue ma Purshouse as she laywright Brendan p m io d E d n a a te R t a e aure poet BBC , po pton Poet L cer Catherine Harvey inger songwriter and cussion m a rh e lv o W s eries produ . Expect dis dnesbury), writer and s oet Laureate for We expert Esther Asprey ct poetry and song (P le t Hawthorne stie, along with dialec me Black Country dia o a s W h r it e w th r, la Hea cal vernacu about our lo e mix. th thrown into fee) (+ booking Tickets: £7




2pm - 3pm

THE IMMIGRATION STORIES OF THE LITHUANIAN COMMUNITY Online Award-winning local author and nurse Aldona Grupas will be sharing personal tales of resettlement, from Lithuanian after WWII, and her own journey on settling in Wolverhampton and her career as a geriatric nurse. Tickets: Free 6pm – 7pm


5pm - 6pm

PETER CHAND: TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND Zoom Storyteller Peter Chand presents a heady collection of some of his favourite traditional stories, some of which he has collected from India, translated, and shares now with us in his own unique and skilful style.

Online Celebrating their recent publication successes, R. M. Francis and Helen Calcutt will read from their most recent poetry collections: Subsidence (Smokestack Books) and Somehow (Verve Poetry Press). Their collections deal with issues of loss, grief, anger and love, both in terms of the personal and communal, so this reading will be a chance to explore the difficult, often unspoken aspects of sense of self and sense of place.

(Suitable for adults and audiences over 14)

Tickets: £7 (+ booking fee)


Tickets: Pay as you please


FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 6pm - 7pm

MASTERCLASS WITH NICK BAILEY: ‘HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PERFORMANCE’. Zoom Former Eastenders actor Nick Bailey, who played Dr Trueman, and now academic at University of Birmingham, will be sharing stories from his acting career and how you can get the most out of your performance.

Tickets: £20 (+ booking fee)

8pm - 9.45pm

STAY UP YOUR OWN END Zoom In the summer of 2020, the Black Country’s regular poetry events were all on hold because of Covid-19. Poets Prattlers and Pandemonialists organised a series of five online events, made possible with the support of Creative Black Country, asking for poems which celebrated the different areas of our region. We received hundreds of submissions. This event will feature a short talk about the project, and sets from each of the poets whose pieces won the £25 prize for Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, and Stourbridge. Tickets: £1 (+ booking fee)




7pm – 8pm

PATRICK VERNON: DOCUMENTING BLACK HISTORY TBC Join Patrick Vernon, social activist, and Jefny Ashcroft, local historian, to discuss how to best document Black History. Patrick will be discussing his past, present and future project on how to celebrate and record Black British history.

Patrick and Jefny will also explore different approaches and lessons for Wolverhampton and how we can continue to document our collective history and provide recognition to our black historical and public figures of today. Tickets: £12 (+ booking fee)



SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists bring a selection of the finest poets from across the UK via Zoom. Entry to each of the five events is free, with the virtual hat being passed at the end of each show.

11.30am - 12.30pm HAIFLU EVER AFTER

12.30pm - 13.30pm


13.30pm - 2.30pm


2.30pm - 3.30pm


3.30pm - 4.30pm


Part poetry show, part inspirational talk, spoken-word artist and inventor of the Haiflu, Liv Torc, will take you on an entertaining journey through the pandemic poetry project that engaged thousands.

Matt Black thinks he might be a dog, and that dogs have all the answers. Joyful and powerful entertainment with cheap props, surprising dog facts, excellent poems, and Snoopy’s answer to world peace. Poetry, comedy and science.

WWII saw plenty of women learning things and Isobel decides there are better ways to spend the war than worrying bout her RAF husband. She joins the ‘trainees’ and finds a world of boats she didn’t know existed – as well as lots of coal, calamities and cocoa! ‘A Marvellous Party’, is a ticklish but heartfelt “thank you” letter to his heroes and heroines, who threw down a pathway of glittering breadcrumbs to guide him from where and who he was to where and what he wanted and needed to be.

Stand-up poet, reluctant bear and attempted vegan strips… away labels of life, love, the arts and the LGBTQ+ community in this fast-paced, honest and hilarious debut. Dan navigates through the confusing world of definitions.




12pm – 1pm

KATES HILL PRESSES LOCAL BOOK LAUNCH FEATURING IAN HENREY, SHAUN PATRICK HAND AND GREG STOKES Online Come along and listen to extract from stories and poetry published by local Black Country Kates Hills Presses. You will hear from three of their newest publications. At the event you will have a taste of each of the authors own style, from dark humor to messages of hope and to presidential palace in Abu Dhabi. Ian Henery is a successful local solicitor with offices across the West Midlands. But that’s just the day job. He is a prolific author and poet well known on the spoken word circuit. Shaun Patrick Hand, author and


musican, will be reading extract from his book ‘The New Brutalism’, whom he Collaborated with Tom Hicks. This book is a mix of stark realism and dark humour which reflect these modern times. Greg Stokes, local chap had travelled the world in various roles and began writing in 1980 and has written over 200 short stories. He Set up Kates Hill Press in 1992 to publish West Midlands writers. Donations welcome.  All proceeds will go to Teenage Cancer Trust.


SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 1pm - 2.30pm

WE FOUND LOVE IN THE ‘80S: HIDDEN LOVE LGBTQI+. FILM SCREENING AND PANEL DISCUSSION Film screening provided via a link followed by a Zoom Panel Discussion Acclaimed Wolverhampton artist Dawinder Bansal and musician Martyn Ware - founder of The Human League and Heaven 17 - celebrate couples who found love in the 1980s in a film and photo archive project called ‘We found LOVE in the ‘80s’. The film and online archive feature a range of couples and there will be a focus on hidden love and often forbidden gay relationships. Following the screening a panel discussion will be chaired by Dr Ranjit Khutan (Head of Public Health Department at Wolverhampton University) discussing the creation of this project with Dawinder Bansal and its role in healing British communities in a contemporary context through a lens of love, relationships and adversity. We will also discuss AIDS epidemic and the impact of Section 28 and Margret Thatcher’s attack on the Queer community during this time. Joined by Birmingham locals Helen & Deirdre, who feature in the film, will discuss their 25-year relationship and how they navigated the 80’s as a bi-racial couple whilst also exploring and coming to understand their own sexuality, often found in literature and books in secret bookshops for gay people. Tickets: £10 (+ booking fee)




2pm – 3pm

4pm – 5.30pm



Online Explore the cultural significance of preserving heritage in artistic pieces. Based on her own experiences creating plays around culture within the Caribbean diaspora, she will also examine the micro and macro challenges faced when transcribing history and staying true to traditions.

Online Whether you’re a playwright, poet, seasoned wordsmith or occasional writer, character development is often one of the hardest aspects in storytelling. Join Ashlee in her immersive workshop designed to build your concepts into relatable, three-dimensional characters for both the page and the stage.

Tickets: £5 (+ booking fee)

3pm - 4pm

PUNJABI WOMEN GROUP Online Dedicated to Punjabi Women in Wolverhampton and ran by Kuli Kohli. Over the last couple of years they have had successful writing workshops and local performances in Wolverhampton and Ironbridge that have sparked up a lot of interest. Tickets: £5


Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo is a writer, broadcaster and youth facilitator hailing from Birmingham. She has written pieces for/worked with arts organisations including The Birmingham Rep, National Theatre and Beatfreeks. Her work focusses on themes such as culture, identity, and generational patterns. She also hosts a weekly show on Switch Radio which focusses on community, care, and creative sectors in the UK.

Tickets: £10 (+ booking fee)

www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk


7pm - 8pm

SATHNAM SANGHERA: EMPIRELAND CHAIR BY NATSHA JUNEJO Zoom Sathnam Sanghera, Wolverhampton born author and columnist will be in conversation with Natasha Junejo, founder of #SouthAsianWriter to discuss latest book Empireland: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain. Join us to celebrate the release of Sathnam latest book which focuses on exploring Britain’s Imperial Past and how this has shaped all aspects of our current society. The book covers how British empire has influenced everything from the

foundation of the NHS, to our racism, to our economic status and our wealth. Sathnam, with Natasha, will be looking at how imperialism, if we choose to see it or not, is at the centre of the way we think, go about our lives and conduct politics. This is an event you don’t want to miss!!

Tickets - £12 (+ booking fee)



SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 7.30pm - 8.30pm

MEMORIES OF THE KIDDERMINSTER MARKET TAVERN Live Stream Mark Badgeman and Andrew Wolfman's book chronicles the importance of a small music venue, Market Tavern. They'll be talking about how the book was made and expanding on the wild stories with a series of special guests. BBC 6 Music fave, The Humdrum Express, aka singer/songwriter Ian Passey, cut his teeth gigging at the Market Tavern and will make a special appearance to perform a couple of acoustic songs. Tickets: £3 (+ booking fee) 8pm - 9.30pm

JOELLE TAYLOR & BEN DAVIS TBC Join Joelle Taylor and Ben Davis as they speak about their journey through poetry.

Joelle, an award-winning poet playwright, author and editor will be sharing her stories of travelling the world with her poetry and giving us an insight into her debut book of short stories ‘The Night Alphabet’. Ben will be joining Joelle in this discussion and sharing how poetry can be adapted for all ages with a few gags along the way. Tickets: £10 (+ booking fee)


www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk



12pm - 1pm



Online Join CYT on a journey through all aspects of ‘Love’ from severn different plays that will be performed exploring love in all its complicated glory.

Zoom Meet author Leslie Scase as he explores the world of late Victorian crime and punishment in this illustrated talk, bringing this fascinating era and subject alive.

Tickets: £6 (+ booking fee)

Tickets: £5 (+ booking fee)


11.30am - 1pm


Zoom Each year, Wolves Lit Fest champions the local writers’ groups who meet across our region. At the 2021 festival, they’ll be sharing their work via Zoom. Pop along, hear what people in your area have been creating, and be inspired to join them yourself!

Zoom Come and join winning and shortlisted poets from this year’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Competition. Poets will be meeting on Zoom, on Valentine’s Day and sharing their understanding of the ‘aspects of love’.

Boundary Way Project Blakenhall Writers Bridgnorth Writers Walsall Writers Circle Coachhouse Writers Bilston Writers

Tickets: Free

Tickets: Free

www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk

10.30am 11.30am 12.30pm 1.30pm 2.30pm 3.30pm



1pm - 2pm

1.30pm - 3.30pm



Zoom The Living Memory Project records and celebrates life stories and personal photography collections from across the Black Country. Founded by artist and filmmaker Geoff Broadway, the project was developing in response to the shift in popular photography where the role of the family album and the personal collection has declined with the rise of the mobile phone and social media.

Zoom Join Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger for a creative writing workshop designed to get you writing love poetry - whilst avoiding cliche! Have a go at creating a sonnet and a piece of concrete poetry for someone special. Beginners welcome.

We will be joined by two project participants who will share their experiences of being involved in the project and the importance of the project.

Tickets: £10 (+ booking fee)

3pm - 4pm

This three-year project has recorded over 60 life stories, hosted over 120 community sharing sessions, pop up exhibitions, talks and creative workshops, and commissioned a series of new films and artist commissions.


Donations welcome

Tickets: £6 (+ booking fee)


Online Join local poet Kuli Kohli and Cherry Doyle exploring Kuli’s rise to fame, from her childhood to her journey to publication, and recent international coverage of her life story. Kuli shares some poetry from her pamphley ‘Patchwork’ and her new upcoming collection ‘Wonder Women’.

www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk

SUNDAY 14 FEBRUARY 4pm - 5pm

INVISIBLE VOICES SERIES: IN CONVERSATION WITH SHOBNA GULATI: REMEMBER ME? DISCOVERING MY MOTHER AS SHE LOST HER MEMORY Wolverhampton Art Gallery - Live Stream Join us for an inspiring and intimate conversation with writer and actor Shobna Gulati, who is famously known for her roles in Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies. Shobna Gulati speaks with our very own Multi Award Winning Artist, Dawinder Bansal to have an honest discussion on being a carer for one’s parent and the highs and lows that come with this. They will discuss Shobna’s debut book, ‘Remember Me?’ and the themes of memory, family life and migration. Looking closely at Shobna’s journey in discovering how her mother’s Alzheimer’s dementia changed them both and opened up different worlds and memories which she recalls in her new book. This event is part of the Invisible Voices Series by Dawinder Bansal, shining a light on hidden stories and issues faced in everyday lives.

Tickets: £12 (+ booking fee) Photo Credit Dee Patel of Outroslide Photography




4.30pm - 6.30pm

6pm - 7pm



Online Come and join our Young Creatives and Young Poet Laurette for an exciting, emotive and passionate event. We will be hearing a range of discussions that are important to young people of today and exploring their literary talents. We can’t wait to show you what they have to offer. Tickets: £3 (+ booking fee)

Zoom Join Emma Purshouse, Poet Laureate for Wolverhampton, as she launches her debut novel, ‘Dogged’. Emma will read extracts from her work and talk to Steve Pottinger from Ignite books about its creation. Tickets: £3 (+ booking fee) 5pm - 6.30pm

STORYTELLING CONCERT: LOVE THEMED EVENT Zoom Ease back and breathe in the tastes and aromas of supernatural love, immeasurable sorrow, and poetic odes with beautiful traditional tales from across the world. These stories, some dating back into antiquity are bought to life for the present day as we bite into the sweetest and sourest sides of love. With backgrounds from the Caribbean, Ireland, and India our three Storytellers bring you a truly evocative and unique blend of stories specially curated for the festival on Valentine’s Day. Suitable for adults (14 years +)

Tickets: £12 (+ booking fee)




7pm - 8pm

‘IN CONVERSATION’ WITH JED MERCURIO Zoom Get the rare chance to get behind the scenes and hear the stories behind the making of multi awardwinning crime dramas and novels that have captured the nation’s attention. Jed will be discussing his catalogue of work from Bodies to Line of Duty and Bodyguard.

Jed will be sharing his process and inspirations in writing his awardwinning dramas that brought this boy from Cannock to become one of the Greatest British Crime Writers of today. Tickets: £12 (+ booking fee)

www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk





Online Students studying narrative illustration, have come together to create a picture book/illustrated text for the younger reader. Students will be able to present their work to their targeted audience and hear their (honest!) response!

Online Join author Ben Davis for a rundown of his top writing tips and get interactive by helping him create a brand-new character!

Tickets: Free

Tickets: Free

SOHAN KAILEY WONDERFULLY WOLVERHAMPTON Online Join Sohan Kailey as he takes you on an amazing musical dance journey, from Wolverhampton to around the world! Dive into the magic of your imagination with an interactive dance and storytelling experience for all the family. Expect to see the unexpected as you venture into a colourful world of magic and adventure!

Tickets: Free






Online Come and hear everything about the beastly creature who wants to eat everyone in the jungle, from The Roly-Poly Bird to Muggle-Wump the monkeys, but his favorite food of all is a yummy-tasing child.

Online Throughout the festival, come along to our social media sites and listen to our winning bedtime stories written by our local aspiring authors. These will be read every festival day at 7pm to help our little ones across the city to go nicely to bed.

Tickets: Free

Tickets: Free

MORE EVENTS... Head over to the website and our social media channels for the most up to date event information. COVID-19 Information All events have been organised with the safety of staff, performers, and attendees in mind. We will be monitoring Government guidance and will inform you of changes to events in advance. We would like to take this oppotunity to thank you for your continued support during this time.

18 www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk WolvesLiteratureFestival.co.uk

AT A GLANCE Theatre and Performance Date Sat 6 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb

Time 7.30pm 11am 5pm

Event Poetry Slam Central Youth Theatre: Love Storytelling Concert

Venue Zoom Zoom Zoom

Price £7* £6* £5*

Page 1 13 16

Time 7.30pm 7pm 6pm 8pm various 12pm 8pm 12pm 3pm 4.30pm 6pm

Event Poetry Slam Black Country Tongue and Talk R.M. Francis and Helen Calcutta Stay Up Your Own End FRINGE ROOM: Liv Torc Kate Hills Presses Book Launch Joelle Taylor and Ben Davis Poetry Competition: Winners Kuli Kohli Young Creatives Emma Purshouse

Venue Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom TBC Zoom Online Online Online

Price Page £7* 1 £7* 2 ** 4 £1* 4 Donations 6 Donations 7 £10* 11 Free 12 £6* 9 £3* 15 £10* 15

Event We Found Love in the ‘80s

Venue Live Stream

Price £10*

Page 8

Event Aldona Grupas Peter Chand

Venue Online Zoom

Price Free £7*

Page 3 3

Venue Zoom Zoom TBC Zoom Online Zoom Zoom Zoom Live Stream Zoom

Price Page £7* 2 £12* 1 £12* 5 Donations 7 £6* 9 £6* 10 £3* 11 £3* 12 £15* 14 £16* 16

Poetry Date Sat 6 Feb Thu 11 Feb Fri 12 Feb Fri 12 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 14 Feb Sat 14 Feb Sat 14 Feb Sat 14 Feb

Music, Art and Film Date Time Sat 13 Feb 1pm

Storytelling Date Time Fri 12 Feb 2pm Fri 12 Feb 5pm

Literature, Talks and Readings Date Thu 11 Feb Thu 11 Feb Fri 12 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 14 Feb Sat 14 Feb Sat 14 Feb


Time 7pm 8pm 7pm 12pm 3pm 7pm 7.30pm 12pm 4pm 7pm

Event Black Country Tongue and Talk Jon Ronson Patrick Vernon, OBE Kate Hills Presses Book Launch Kuli Kohli Sathnam Sanghera Memories of the Market Tavern Leslie Scase Shobna Gulati Jed Mercurio


AT A GLANCE Workshops Date Fri 12 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb Sun 14 Feb

Time 6pm 2pm 4pm 10.30am 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 1.30pm 2pm 1pm

Event Venue Nick Bailey Zoom Perserving Culture in Writing Zoom Character Building Zoom Writers Hub: Boundry Way Project Zoom Writers Hub: Blakenhall Writers Zoom Writers Hub: Bridgnorth Writers Zoom Writers Hub: Walsall Writers Circle Zoom Writers Hub: Coachhouse Writers Zoom Writers Hub: Bilston Writers Zoom Valentine’s Verses Zoom Punjabi Women Group Online Memory Project Panel Zoom

Price Page £20* 4 £5* 9 £10* 9 Free 12 Free 12 Free 12 Free 12 Free 12 Free 12 £5* 13 £5* 13 Donations 13

Time 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm 12pm

Event Children’s Bedtime Stories Pup Stars Ben Davis: Character Workshop Sohan Kailey Sohan Kailey Roald Dahl Storytelling Roald Dahl Storytelling Children’s Bedtime Stories Children’s Bedtime Stories

Price Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free

Children Date Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 13 Feb Sat 14 Feb

Venue Online Online Online Online Online Online Online Online Online

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Please note that ‘Online’ events will be pre-recorded and you will be sent a link to watch and hear the session. ‘Zoom’ events will be live events. ‘Live Streaming’ events will take place in the venue with only speakers and crew. You will be sent a link to the event befor the session. *All chargeable tickets are subject to a booking fee. ** Pay as you please.



Find out about

Fostering for your local aUthority by calling:

01902 551133

or by joining one of our online events at:

WCC 1509. 01.20


Profile for Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage

Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2021