Saturday, 25 February 2012

From Headingley to Oxford

Former Headingley resident Nicolette Jones took part in the first Headingley LitFest: she talked about her terrific book The Plimsoll Sensation. You can find out more about it here

She is now the main moving force behind the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, and sends us her best wishes...
If you have an appetite for even more munching on literary matters after the Headingley LitFest, you might like to get yourself down to Oxford, where there will be three hundred events, including a children's programme with fifty-nine authors and illustrators.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

James Nash at The Bowery

Headingley resident and poet James Nash has contributed to every LitFest so far, and will be around for the current one as well. He is also running a six-week creative writing course at The Bowery (54 Otley Road) from 1 March to 19 April at a cost of £55. The phone number is 0113 224 2284 and the email is

Valley Press has just told us that they will be publishing James's 63 Sonnets in the autumn.

He writes:

Starting on 1 March, I’ll be doing six weeks of taster writing workshops [poetry, short fiction, memoir, writing from life] between 7pm and 9pm which could well continue for another six weeks, and so on, we hope….

Everything we do will be pertinent to the writing process, with chances to share work and get feedback. We will also talk about publishing and performance possibilities for those who might be interested.

You can be a beginner or more experienced, the sharing of experience and discoveries will make it very exciting.

Contact Sandra at The Bowery to register your interest.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Love's Lingo in the HEART café

Richard Wilcocks writes:
Love's Lingo, a preliminary - or if you like interim - LitFest event in the café of the HEART building on Bennett Road on Friday evening was a wonderful and very substantial taster for the full banquet to come. Becky Cherriman, the blue angel of the evening, delivered slices of heightened reality to an appreciative audience. She spoke truths about relationships close-up into our ears, intimacies conveyed in a conversational style. For me, there was just a touch of Angela Carter in her rhythmic scrutinies of old loves and fresh loves, fading pains and lasting pains.

Her poetic guest was Clare Neruda, a talented newcomer and similarly confessional: it was heartwarming to watch and listen as her confidence grew during her session, until she had us gripped. Her musical guests were Maggie 8, a duo which finished the evening beautifully.

Becky Cherriman will be with the LitFest again on Tuesday 20 March at 1pm for The Lingo of FoodThe Workers Educational Association, in partnership with Osmondthorpe Resource Centre for adults with physical disabilities, and supported by Headingley LitFest, will be reuniting two creative writing groups for a delectable literary performance. She will be with both of them as facilitator.

About food - it's certainly delectable in the HEART café, and the atmosphere is just right for poetry and music. There will be more LitFest stand-alone events like this in future.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Talking Myself Home - with Ian McMillan

Note it in your Filofax, tap it into your iPhone or ball-point it into the palm of your hand - just don't forget the date and time, which is 16 March at 7.30pm, and the place with the pulpit still in it - Left Bank Leeds, the old St Margaret of Antioch Church on Cardigan Road.
You are being given the opportunity to experience the phenomenon which is Ian McMillan, who will be performing his acclaimed verse autobiography in Headingley! Ian is poet-in-residence for English National Opera, The Academy of Urbanism and Barnsley FC. He presents The Verb every week on BBC R3 and appears regularly on Pick of the Week, Quote Unquote, The Arts Show, Just A Minute, You & Yours, Fry’s Planet Word, Have I Got News For You and next spring, Coast.

He’s Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and Humberside Police’s Beat Poet. He was recently castaway on Desert Island Discs and featured with his Orchestra on The South Bank Show. His rip-roaring poetry shows are legendary. Cats make him sneeze.

‘The John Peel of poetry’ Alec Finlay

‘Jovial Poetic Troll’ Mark Radcliffe

'It cleared me chest something wonderful' Theatre By The Lake, Kendal

'One of my all-time heroes  -  he’s such a talented bloke, I could kill him’ Mike Harding

'Ian McMillan proved himself the ultimate spoken word artist, in that he was never at a loss for them – spoken or otherwise. His show Talking Myself Home was a dazzling combination of finely-honed poems and stand-up’s repartee. When the audience weren’t savouring his metaphors (in a Wish-I’d-Written-That way), they were shrieking with laughter. And what more could you want from a poetry show?' Apples'n'Snakes

Photo of Ian McMillan by Kippa Matthews:

7.30pm Left Bank Leeds (St Margaret of Antioch Church), Cardigan Road