Spring at Birmingham Literature Festival: a weekend of inspiring conversations, writing and debate

The 3-day festival, a partner to the annual 10-day October festival, will be at the Birmingham REP from 27-29 April 2018

Birmingham Literature Festival, the region’s annual celebration of books, debates and ideas, will return for a short spring festival in April, with a busy programme of events, screenings and writing workshops.

Launching the programme on International Women’s Day, the festival is delighted to be celebrating and championing women writers through a series of events, from much-needed discussions around the gender bias in publishing in both the UK and in translation, to an exploration of 21 key women in British history with stalwart Radio 4 Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray.

The festival will also play host to a special event showcasing a new poetry anthology created in response to the #MeToo phenomenon. The event will feature poets from the anthology and audience members who will both read poems from the #MeToo poetry collection.

Lesser-known foremothers of the women’s rights movement in Britain will also be showcased as stories of the secret “swimming suffragettes” are shared by writer Jenny Landreth. Their defiance of the men-only rules in public pools opened the door for women to be able to bathe anywhere they pleased.

Birmingham Literature Festival has always been the place to come for open discussion and ideas, promoting the fundamental importance of literature. The festival has come of age – it’s now 21 – and is one of the few festivals in the UK where debate, dissenting opinions and first-hand experience take centre stage.

“Our festivals offer a distinct forum for enquiring minds: a space to learn, challenge and be inspired, says Festival Director Antonia Beck

“This Spring we are delighted to present a range of events with writers and speakers such as Alexei Sayle, Kit de Waal, Catherine Mayer (co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party) and Salley Vickers. This is just the start of another year of important conversations and events inspired by great writers and great literature.”

For its 20th year, the Birmingham Literature Festival in October last year held its biggest event ever, with Brummie comedian and writer Joe Lycett chatting to MP for Yardley Jess Phillips in front of an audience of nearly 800 at a new partner venue, Birmingham Town Hall.

As well as hosting bestselling writers and offering a platform to celebrate Birmingham and the Midlands, Birmingham Literature Festival has built a reputation for showcasing an exciting, eclectic mix of speakers from all backgrounds and literary genres, both established and emerging. In 2017, the Stories Crossing Borders strand welcomed writers from Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean.

The Birmingham Literature Festival returns for a short Spring Edition on 27-29 April 2018, then the annual 10-day festival in October which runs 4-14 October 2018.

For tickets and full details of events, see www.ds2nd.com.


For more information, to request images or to arrange an interview, please contact Olivia Chapman on 0 or 0 or Olivia@writingwestmidlands.org.