Durham Book Festival Preview

Something for all ages: Durham Book Festival is “the North East’s biggest annual celebration of books”.

Now that cooler evenings are upon us, if you’re anything like me, you’re already eagerly anticipating the spectacle that is Lumiere, taking place in November this year. (If you’re not, see this video and I’m confident that you will be.) However, you don’t need to wait until the cold winter nights roll in for Durham to be transformed through the arts – it is, in fact, happening right now.

Describing itself as “the North East’s biggest annual celebration of books”, Durham Book Festival has expanded for 2013, welcoming over 70 writers and speakers to Durham and County Durham for a dynamic series of events on a wide-range of literary subjects. Whether you’re an ardent fan of science, crime or children’s fiction, poetry, or have an interest in political works and local writers of all varieties – even if you don’t know what you might like to see – there is bound to be something to interest you. Maybe you just want to see some of the household names that have been drawn to the city. How about Jeremy Vine, Lynda La Plante, Alan Johnson and Simon Armitage?

The festival, running from 24 September to 29 October, proudly showcases home-grown talent from across the North of England with many events on Northern Poetry, for instance, as well as commissions for several new pieces of writing. Paul Muldoon, Festival Laureate, will present a new poem; musician and singer Kathryn Williams will perform songs from a new EP inspired by Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar; and a new weekly poetry magazine in email format has been founded; all thanks to festival funding. In addition to hosting such varied events, the festival offers several opportunities to visit many of the most interesting locations in this historical city and county, including Durham Cathedral and Palace Green Library. You could even have afternoon tea at The Bowes Museum, a spectacular building and internationally renowned art museum in the picturesque market town of Barnard Castle, with Durham-based writer Janette Jenkins.

There really is something to inspire the imaginations of all ages, and, here at the Literature Section, we recommend that everyone take a look at the programme. If, however, you find yourself unable to attend some of the events over the duration of the festival, worry not; our writers at The Bubble will be providing previews and reviews of numerous events and will also be conducting interviews with featured authors. Further, if you or someone you know might be interested in writing for us, please contact literature@thebubble.org.uk for more information! We’d love to hear from you.

A word to the wise: book early. Even with approximately 70 events scheduled for this year, tickets to popular events will sell out fast – and some already have!

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