Lancaster University festival hopes to be real page turner

PJ Harvey will be appearing at the festival.
PJ Harvey will be appearing at the festival.

This July sees the first Lancaster Words festival, a three-day exploration of all things literary though a vibrant mix of readings, interviews, lectures, discussions, workshops, art exhibition, book-making and even film-making. 

The festival, which runs from July 6 to July 8, is being organised by Lancaster University’s Department of English Literature and Creative Writing and will take in everything from poetry, prose, and drama through to new media, graphic novel and screen-writing not to mention rock-lyrics, history and theology.

The programme will take place in a range of city-centre venues, including Lancaster Castle, Priory, the Storey, the library and Waterstones book store, as well as one or two venues within the university estate. 

With the exception of the headline events everything else will be free.

This headline event will see Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter PJ Harvey in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winner poet Paul Muldoon. 

Harvey’s current album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, reached number one in the UK Album Charts.

They will take to the stage of the University’s Nuffield Theatre on the evening of July 6 to read from their poetry and to explore, through conversation, its relationship to song lyrics.

Also taking part will be Emmy award-winning comedy writer and producer Ian Martin, Booker Prize short-listed author Carol Birch, comics expert John Freeman, playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville, prize-winning fantasy author Zen Cho, novelists Jenn Ashworth and Jo Baker and many others.

In addition to the public events there will also be two special events working with year 12 students from schools across the city and region, as well as a year 10 Book Club project based at Heysham High School.

Tajinder Hayer, director of Lancaster Words, said: “With more than 20 very different events we have something for everybody – ranging from book-making for young children and a short-film competition for under 25s to lunchtime lectures in the Storey, a dramatized reading of Gawain in the castle and much more.”

The event is supported by the University’s Friends Programme, the Arts Council of England, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University and Waterstones.

Lancaster Words is led by a committee, chaired by John Schad, including Tajinder Hayer, George Green, assistant director, and Yvonne Battle-Felton, creative producer.

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