Preview: Bradford Literature Festival – “a ten day celebration of the wonderful world of words”
May 22, 2016
Bradford Literature Festival has come a long way in one year. When the first Festival took place in 2015, organisers Irna Quereshi and Syima Aslam put together an impressive line-up for a small-to-medium-sized festival, attracting an audience of almost 10,000. This time, between 20th and 29th May, with more than 200 events and over 350 guests, Bradford takes another giant step toward joining the big players in the Literature Festival circuit, with considerable help from Bradford-based sponsors, Provident Financial Group.
Among the stars for 2016 are Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Great British Bake-off winner Nadiya Hussain and nonagenarian political writer, Harry Leslie Smith. There will also be a number of high-profile literary events, including the launch of The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition and a celebration of freshly-announced winner of the Man Booker International Prize.
Themes announced by the organisers include future living, gender and manga and comics, but the big literary and political anniversaries will also be acknowledged, with events celebrating the Brontës and Shakespeare, as well as the 100th anniversary of the Irish Easter Rising and Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Although events cover the globe as far as Japan, with literary and manga authors and an exploration of “the world’s first ever novel”, The Tale of Genji, the roots of the festival are maintained with items on local authors and plenty of discussion of the experience of the south Asian diaspora, and issues facing British Muslims. Indeed, faith – and in particular mysticism – represents another strand, with a tour of Bradford’s Jewish heritage and explorations of the poets Rumi and William Blake.
Children will also be catered for, with schools events ranging from comics to philosophy and covering issues of multicultural identity. Meanwhile, a varied programme of film screenings will run at venues including the National Media Museum and the Kala Sangam centre. As its directors put it, the Bradford Literature Festival is “a ten day celebration of the wonderful world of words”!
Various venues, Bradford city centre and nearby, 20-29 May. For more information, go to http://www.bradfordliteraturefestival.co.uk/