Literary Leicester celebrates tenth year with diverse new programme of events throughout the city

Posted by ap507 at Sep 21, 2017 02:10 PM |
University of Leicester’s annual homage to poetry and prose takes place 15 – 18 November

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 September 2017­

This year marks the tenth year of Literary Leicester, the University of Leicester’s free international literature festival celebrating the written and spoken word.

Organised by the University of Leicester, the four-day festival will take place from Wednesday 15 November to Saturday 18 November and will feature acclaimed guest authors, the dramatic arts and several school events.

The programme for 2017 takes the festival in a fresh direction - jam-packed with a new range of experiences tailored to suit literature enthusiasts of all ages and interests.

Highlights include numerous talks from acclaimed literati, such as Douglas Dunn, Jonathan Bate, and Leicester alumni Adele Parks and Rory Waterman. Award-winning novelist Gwendoline Riley will host a Q&A on her new novel First Love.

The festival will feature journalist and TV presenter Anne Robinson as a guest speaker alongside Craig Brown, Ferdinand Mount, and Alexander Waugh, and Shrabani Basu, whose Victoria and Abdul has recently been adapted into a film starring Judi Dench and Michael Gambon.

This year’s programme will also highlight the cultural diversity of the city of Leicester.

There will be an interview with Kamila Shamsie, whose novel Home Fire was long-listed for the 2017 Booker Prize. Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga will discuss the pioneering developments in Black British History and writing. A panel event, ‘Rural Racism in Contemporary Britain’, will consider the social implications of race and cultural identity.

Engaging with younger audiences we have schools-only events with Kevin Brooks and Catherine Johnson. Jeremy Strong’s partnership with The Letterbox Club ensures a fun-filled afternoon that will highlight the joys of reading to children.

Carnegie Medal winner Anne Fine will host a session to talk about the differences between writing for children and adults.

Opportunities to engage with the dramatic arts include The Black Cat, a renegade retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s macabre short story, run in partnership with Attenborough Arts Centre, and an event celebrating the life and work of Joe Orton 50 years after his death.

Esteemed actor, director and writer Michael Pennington will showcase his latest book King Lear in Brooklyn, perform a reading and host a Q&A about the text and his experience touring King Lear.

Another notable event is run in partnership with Arriva - the ‘On the Buses’ experience, hosted by poet Lydia Towsey. This mystery tour of the city brings together literature and travel, breathing new life into traditional nursey rhymes and stories.

Setting this year apart from its predecessors is the festival’s increased locational reach, with events across the city, from the University of Leicester campus out to the National Space Centre for sci-fi talks with Philip Reeve and Alistair Reynolds, the Phoenix cinema, the King Power Stadium, and local schools.

Festival Director Professor Martin Stannard, from the University of Leicester’s School of Arts, said: 'Literary Leicester is bigger and better this year than ever: an equally glamorous line-up of celebrity guests, a wider distribution of venues, and a terrific outreach and diversity programme.'

For information about booking please contact Attenborough Arts Centre: 0116 252 2455

For further information about events please visit


Notes to Editors:

For interviews about Literary Leicester contact Professor Martin Stannard on

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