Liverpool Literary Festival 2019 line up revealed

Liverpool Literary Festival returns this autumn with an eclectic line up of novelists, poets, campaigners and performers.

The festival opens on Friday October 11 with the prestigious Liverpool Literary Lecture. This year, Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and Brooklyn author, Colm Tóibín will take the lectern to consider Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats & James Joyce: Three Writers in Search of a Father.

The full Liverpool Literary Festival programme that follows is packed into one day – Saturday October 12 – allowing visitors to experience everything on offer or dip in and out of events as their curiosity leads them.

It all takes place in the Leggate Theatre of the University’s iconic Victoria Gallery & Museum (VGM) – an inspirational room in the heart of the city that provides the perfect setting for literary musing and debate.

First up on Saturday morning is Andrew Miller, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Ingenious Pain. Andrew will read from his latest novel, Now We Shall be Entirely Free; a reflection on violence in a violent world, and how abuse begets abuse.

Diana Evans – author of Ordinary People, The Wonder and 26a – follows to discuss themes arising from her closely observed fiction, such as family life, marriage, children and black culture.

Next up is human rights lawyer turned award-winning poet, Mona Arshi. A hugely successful advocate, she turned to poetry mid- career and has never looked back.

Mona is published by Liverpool University Press’ ground-breaking imprint, Pavilion Poetry. Her first collection, Small Hands secured the industry leading Forward Prize for Best First Collection, against stiff competition. Join Mona in conversation with Liverpool English Professor, and highly-regarded poet in her own right, Deryn Rees-Jones.

Mona is followed by Jess Kidd, winner of the 2016 Costa Short Story Award. Jess will read from her new novel, Things in Jars before being joined in conversation by Liverpool’s English Professor Sarah Peverley. It might be worth sneaking a look at the VGM’s own substantial collection of things in jars – aided by the University’s Nightmares in a Bell Jar app – while you are there.

But if you do, make sure you don’t miss Alan Hollinghurst, celebrated author of The Line of Beauty. The Booker Prize winner will talk about his latest novel, The Sparsholt Affair, and its exploration of the social and sexual revolutions of the past century. These are key themes in his work, and he will consider how their life changing consequences are still being played out today.

Like Mona Arshi, Molly Case is a writer emerging from a very different career. A nurse, Molly’s love letter to the NHS and those who work in it, How to Treat People was published earlier this year to rave reviews. Join Molly in conversation with Professor Louise Kenny as she extolls the virtues of Britain’s health service, the nursing profession and why we all need to care about each other just that little bit more.

For Saturday night, performance artists Project Adorno bring their surreal take on the three Brontë sisters – and their brother Branwell – with show, Brontë Beat. Comprising original songs, film, ambient sounds and spoken word, it explores the multi-faceted world of the Brontës through an electro-pop lens – surely one not to be missed.

Liverpool Literary Festival Director, Professor Dinah Birch said: “I’m delighted to be able to present such a rich and fascinating programme this year, with so much to offer all of our visitors.

“We look forward to welcoming you in October!”

Liverpool Literary Festival is proud to be supported by Student Roost and Bruntwood.

Liverpool Literary Festival runs from October 11- 12 2019 at the Victoria Gallery & Museum, Brownlow Hill. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit: