Our theme this year is ‘Lives and Loves and our partners and artists have responded with a great array of events.
We have Roger McGough ‘as far as he knows’ on 21 March. Hilarious and surreal, McGough is a poet of many voices. Menace and melancholy there may be, but with plenty of McGough’s characteristic wit and wordplay too.
We are also joined by Kay Mellor the Leeds born and bred writer, director and actress, Blake Morrison pondering fiction or life writing and one of Britain’s leading biographical authors, Hilary Spurling, talking about her acclaimed book (recently on Radio 4) on Nobel Prize winning author Pearl Buck and her life and love of China.
TALKS: The role Irish ethnicity has played in the lives and work of musicians such as Kevin Rowland, Shane McGowan and Morrisey/Marr is explored by Dr Sean Campbell; and Historian and suffrage detective Jill Liddington tells the compelling tale of long-forgotten women and their struggle for the vote. She tracks suffragettes and suffragists across Edwardian Yorkshire, from the terraced streets of Woodhouse to the leafy suburbs of Adel and Harrogate. Her talk is followed by scenes from the life of Mary Gawthorpe, the Woodhouse New Woman.
POETRY: George Szirtes (who is joined by newcomer Kim Moore) reads his poetry of body, language and belonging, with a nod at Twitter and brevity. Ian Parks introduces his new anthology of Chartist poetry, and in an evening of music and words Peter Spafford, together with Gloria, Julia Deakin and Maggi Stratford, asks If love is the answer, what was the question? Leeds Combined Arts also hosts an evening of poetry and music. Two WEA creative writing groups are celebrating Lives and Loves
STORYTELLING: Widely recognised as one of the best storytellers in the UK, the charismatic Dave Tonge shows you how to ‘tell it your way’ in a fun storytelling workshop which he follows up with a session of Tavern Yard Tales. Alive and Kicking Theatre company in a series of events at Heart search for objects that have lost their story. Both of these events are suitable for children - see the programme for details.
SCHOOLS: Poetry slams are happening at Lawnswood and City of Leeds and stories are being told by children and older people at Weetwood primary.
FILM: The classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame is being shown at Cottage Road Cinema and at Hyde Park Picture House you can see the Oscar and Bafta nominated Big Fish.
DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE: Trio Literati have commissioned a new drama, Straight from the Heart from Stuart Fortey, Theatre of the Dales present their Literary Lovers and Teresa Brayshaw and friends have another new performance, Love Lines, for us.
CAFÉ EVENTS: Salvo’s is hosting Caroline Owens, The Secret Garden Café invites you a Lives and Loves literary tea party, Café Lento is biking with Che and Mint presents an Arabian evening.
HOUSE EVENTS: Maggie Mash and Lynn Thornton are asking ‘Love Changes Everything .... Or does it?’ and Ray Brown is chatting about his award winning story, Maria’s House and reading from both it and an assortment of flash fiction, some of which is set in Headingley.