Vows of Silence: How to Read an R. S. Thomas Poem

George Cochrane on R. S. Thomas. Rt. Rev. Dr Barry Morgan appears at our festival on 16th October at 10 AM to discuss R. S. Thomas. Flicking through my shelf of R. S. Thomas recently, I was struck for the first time by the number of his poems that start with the word “and”: nine in…

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GORDON BROWN: Seven Ways to Change the World – How to Fix the Most Pressing Problems We Face

We are delighted that former Prime minister Gordon Brown will appear at our festival via Zoom at 2 PM on 16th October to discuss his latest book. This is a free Zoom event. From a Press Release from Simon and Schuster publishers of Seven Ways to Change the World. Gordon Brown is the United Nations…

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All in it Together – England in the early 21st Century

Alwyn Turner will be discussing his book All in it Together at 4 PM on 15 October at our 2021 Festival! This is a free Zoom event! Mike Fraser provides a preview of this fascinating event. Having previously published studies of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s Alwyn Turner has now turned his attention to the…

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The Final Day: Bread-making, beating the IRA, Geordies buying a slave’s freedom and revisiting the 60s!

Timing is everything! There was a period early in lockdown when it seemed everybody was baking sourdough. Nobody knew that there was going to be a pandemic, however if some entrepreneurs were psychic they would have not only invested in PPE, but also in bread-making instruction books. Of course, lock-down is not merely a physical…

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ADVENTURES IN LETTERS – THE EPISTOLARY POEM

Tim Binder writes about Anne Ryland’s poetry workshop Twelve of us “gathered” on Zoom for Anne Ryland’s delightful workshop on writing an Epistolary poem – or writing a letter in poetry. In addition to bringing a letter that meant something to us, Anne had asked that we read just such a poem by Neil Curry…

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On the third day of our festival: China the restless superpower, a world-class Berwick novelist, digging for victory, saving the planet and why Boris Johnson is unique.

Can this really only be the third day of our festival? We seem to have managed to pack such an extraordinarily diverse range of stimulating and entertaining material into such a short time. We are a festival of words and the first new word of the day arrived early in the first hour and was…

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A not so grumpy bookseller, a Wild Swimmer, a Royal Crisis, incredible Poetry and revolution in Russia – the second day of our virtual festival.

In his entertaining best-selling books Shaun Bythell portrays himself as the grumpiest bookseller in Britain, providing service with a scowl, but he seemed perfectly amiable at 10 AM this morning in his lovely bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland’s book town. In his 20 years in his shop he thinks he must “have handled a million books”. Be…

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Writing about the Past! A Creative Workshop with Bea Davenport

Anna Edgar writes about Bea’s workshop. On Thursday afternoon Barbara Henderson – using her author’s name, Bea Davenport – presented an online creative writing workshop, “Writing about the Past”.  In her introduction she touched on the range of interests and topics such a title could cover and gave a number of examples.  She mentioned both…

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The First Day – Biography, History, Poetry and Maths

Ann Thwaite is one of Britain’s greatest biographers, so it was a privilege to hear her discuss her extraordinary literary life at our festival. She is however not only the author of highly regarded biographies, she has also been a prolific author of work for children. She gave much of the credit for her success…

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I ran away to a remote Scottish isle. It was perfect

Register for free for this event – Click here From The Observer 26th July 2020 Crowded out of the city by noise and stress, I embraced the wild solitude of a Hebridean island – and found a connection to nature Tamsin Calidas is speaking at our free online festival at 12 PM 16th October The sound…

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