Essex Book Festival is back

  • Date

    Mon 28 Jan 19

Medea Electronica

Bestselling author Sara Perry kicks off this year’s Essex Book Festival with a talk about her new novel be held at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall on Friday 1 March.

 As Festival Patron, it is fitting that Sarah, author of The Essex Serpent, should launch this year’s programme, which boasts over 130 events in 45 venues across Essex, including contributions from 250 writers and artists. Her new novel, Melmoth, has been hailed as a masterpiece of moral complexity, which asks profound questions about how to make the most of our conflicted world.

Now in its 20th year, this year’s festival runs throughout March.  As one of the sponsors, the University will be hosting a number of events on campus and many of our academics will lead sessions at other venues across the county.

Festival Director, Ros Green, said:  “It is wonderful to be collaborating with University of Essex on such an excellent and exciting range of events in March 2019, extending from our launch event with award-winning Essex author Sarah Perry in the Ivor Crewe Building on March 1, through to our Unspeakable Day on March 8, which includes a series of performances, panel discussions and author events in partnership with global magazine Index on Censorship and including Trevor Phillips and Dean Atta. We urge everyone to take the plunge and join in the festivities both on and off campus during March.” 

On-campus events include Unspeakable – a day of challenging and illuminating conversations, performances, exhibitions and workshops that explore historic and contemporary issues of censorship, no-platforming, freedom of speech and taboos – on Friday 8 March. The Lakeside Theatre offers two performances: Medea Electronica on Thursday 7 March and Orlando on Thursday 14 March, as well as a panel discussion and book launch: Thinking Home on Tuesday 12 March.

Off campus, Dr James Canton, from  LiFTS will lead a wild writing workshop on Saturday 2 March at the Harwich Connexions 1912 Centre. He will be back there the following day (Sunday 3 March) when he is taking part in a breakfast discussion, led by Ros Green, focusing on the power of words to cross borders and build new friendships. Fellow LiFTS lecturers, Professor Philip Terry and Chris McCully are also in Harwich on 2 March, providing modern interpretations of two very classic tales: Beowulf and Gilgamesh.

Children’s author, and Essex wild writing graduate, Wendy Constance will lead workshops, suitable for the whole family, every weekend throughout the festival.  The Tides and Tales workshop, aimed at 7-11-year-olds, will run at Harwich Redoubt on Sunday 3 March, Firstsite in Colchester on Saturday 23 March and Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Saturday 30 March. While Weaving with Words is at the National Trust’s Paycockes House in Coggeshall on Saturday 16 March.

The full programme is available on the festival website.