Literary giants at the Literary Leicester festival

Posted by pt91 at Oct 21, 2011 10:35 AM |
University of Leicester’s fourth annual Literary Leicester festival takes place from 9-12 November, 2011

The University of Leicester’s fourth annual Literary Leicester festival takes place from 9-12 November, presenting a glittering list of writers and poets who will be reading and discussing their work.

The Festival opens on Wednesday 9th November at 6pm with ‘The Empty Family: an Evening with Colm Toìbin’, the multi-award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet.

Internationally acclaimed poets Grace Nichols and John Agard come together on Thursday 10th November at 7.30pm to read from their poetry and present a joint performance of ‘Sunris’ and ‘Man to Pan’, exploring Caribbean metaphors of transfiguration – Carnival and Steel Pan.

‘An Evening with Alan Hollinghurst’ on Saturday 12th November at 7.30pm offers a chance to hear the Booker prize-winning novelist and author of The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell and The Line of Beauty talk about his work.

Other star attractions include Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson of The Gruffalo fame; Bali Rai, author of (Un)arranged Marriage; Sarah Graham, authority on JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye; a look at film adaptations of work by Byron, Wordsworth and Jane Austen;  and poets Alan Jenkins and Ian Parks.

A panel of three eminent literary biographers, Jeremy Treglown, Alexander Waugh and Martin Stannard, Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Leicester, come together to discuss ’Who Owns a Life? Literary Biography Today’.   The panel is chaired by fellow biographer Hermione Lee, who precedes the panel discussion with a talk entitled ‘From Memory: Literary Encounters and Life-Stories’.

Jonathon Green, the UK’s leading lexicographer of slang will consider ‘The Future of the History of Slang’ with Leicester Professor Julie Coleman, who is herself something of an expert and author of the OUP A History of Slang.

The Literary Leicester festival offers opportunities to meet the writers and have a book signed between events.   There will also be chance to tour the University’s David Wilson Library, grab something to eat at the Library Café or go on a spending spree at the University Bookshop.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and University Librarian Christine Fyfe commented:   “We’re thrilled once again to welcome some of the key figures of the literary world to the Literary Leicester festival.

“Over four years, Literary Leicester has developed its own distinctive character, bringing together four days of events to inspire and stimulate the mind.

“It’s free to attend and the only requirement is a passion for reading and books.”

All Literary Leicester events are free but some require tickets obtained in advance from Embrace Arts, online at, email, tel 0116 252 2455 10am-4pm Mondays-Fridays.

Programmes giving full details of events are also available from Embrace Arts or online at:

Notes to Editors: Further details are available from Christine Fyfe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and University of Leicester Librarian, email, tel +44(0)116 252 2320.  

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