Our English Department and the Liverpool Literary Festival

A liver bird made out of the page of a book on a blue background

The Liverpool Literary Festival (Friday 6 to Sunday 8 October) will see the University of Liverpool’s English Department host an exceptional line up of guests including broadcasting legends, local talent, best-selling authors and much more.

Now in its eighth year, this well-established Festival welcomes a new Festival Director Professor Greg Lynall, Head of English at the University of Liverpool.

Greg said: “It’s a privilege to join the Liverpool Literary Festival team this year and I’m really pleased that our English Department is playing such an important part in an established feature of the city’s cultural calendar.

“Remember, you can buy a VIP pass for the whole weekend, or just for a day, so you won’t need to miss a thing.”

The festival opens on Friday 6 October at 6pm with best selling authors Jonathan Coe and Anthony Quinn in discussion with Dr Lucienne Loh about their shared interests of time, memory, film, music and art.

Writer and performer, Liverpool-born Ashleigh Nugent brings us in to a packed Saturday afternoon,  where he’ll be chatting with Dr Daniel O’Connor, Colm Tóibín Lecturer in Creative Writing at 1pm. Ashleigh will discuss his debut novel Locks, about his experience of being arrested as a 17 year-old while on holiday in Jamaica. Described by legendary screenwriter Jimmy McGovern as “Irreverent, authentic, and utterly enthralling” Ashleigh’s discussion is one not to miss.

Ashleigh Nugent

Ashleigh Nugent

Saturday continues with a thrilling talk from crime writer Emma Flint at 2.30pm. Emma will read from latest novel Other Women, based on the true story of a love triangle in 1920s London that ended in a horrific murder. With Dr Melissa Raines Emma will reflect on her writing process, how she became a writer and the process of finding an agent.

Emma Flint

Emma Flint

Poet, award-winning memoirist and academic Hannah Lowe opens a packed Saturday, 7 October in conversation with Dr Ellie Lybeck at 4pm. Hannah will be reading from her latest book The Kids which won the Costa Poetry Award and Costa Book of the Year in 2021. She will also be talking about the importance of Liverpool as a port city, reflecting on her father’s experience of arriving here from Jamaica on the SS Ormonde.

A picture of Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe (photo credit Lealle)

Broadcasting legend BBC’s 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie will take to the stage at 5pm, where he’ll talk about his latest Sunday Times bestseller with Dr Matthew Bradley. The Full English follows in the footsteps of novelist, playwright and social commentator J. B. Priestley’s English Journey.

Stuart Maconie

Sunday Times Fame & Fortune. Broadcaster and writer Stuart Maconie at his home in Birmingham.

Alumna of the English Department, and burglar-for-hire Jenny Radcliffe will share her trade secrets at 7pm and read from her latest book, People Hacker – Confessions of a Burglar for Hire.

Jenny Radcliffe

Saturday evening will be rounded off with a unique stage performance of Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts at 8.30pm. This compelling collaboration between Dr Ellie Lybeck (Department of English and Institute of Irish Studies) and Director Jen Hayes of CutToTheChase Productions will allow audiences to take part in an exclusive Q&A with the cast, writer and Director.

The Virginia Woolf theme continues into Sunday 8 October at 2.30pm where novelist, playwright and theatre director Neil Bartlett will discuss how he created the script for the acclaimed staging of Woolf’s Orlando. Neil will be joined by Dr Ellie Lybeck to talk about his fifth novel Address Book, a meditation on queer courage, and creating a live staging of Derek Jarman’s final film Blue with much-loved British actor Russell Tovey.

Neil Bartlett

Neil Bartlett

Blackwell’s bookshop will be facilitating book signings after each event in the Waterhouse Café.

Festival Director, Professor Greg Lynall added: “All are welcome at the Liverpool Literary festival – whether you’re interested in poetry or performance, fiction or non-fiction, there really is something for everyone. Have a look at the full line up and get your tickets booked!”

The Liverpool Literary Festival takes place 6-8 October at the Victoria Gallery & Museum on Brownlow Hill. To find out more, view the full line-up and reserve your tickets, please visit https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/literary-festival/events/

You can buy tickets for individual events at the festival, day passes and weekend passes. All festival passes will include reserved seating in the lecture theatre, a free drink at the Waterhouse Café, plus a host of other exclusive VIP benefits. Click here to book a festival pass.