Arts celebrated at campus launch of literary festival

  • Date

    Wed 5 Jun 24

Dr Sarah Perry, smiling and looking relaxed with a colourful backdrop of flags, planted in the ground on a grassy hill

Essex Chancellor, Dr Sarah Perry, has hailed the launch of the 2024 Essex Book Festival as an “incredibly exciting” opportunity to celebrate the rich culture of our county and the importance of the arts and humanities.

The launch, which took place on our Colchester Campus, offered something for everyone, with a variety of discussions and workshops including opportunities to try creative writing, print making and calligraphy.

The event kicked off with a procession of silk pennants, created for the Beach of Dreams installation by arts organisation Kinetika. The flags, which were created by communities around Essex, were carried by volunteers from St Leonard’s Church on Hythe Hill and planted in the ground outside the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall.

The launch closed with an ‘in conversation’ interview with Dr Sarah Perry, talking about her latest book, Enlightenment.

Speaking about the day, Dr Perry picked planting her flag in the ground and making ink from oak gall as her biggest highlights.

The on-campus launch, which jointly celebrated the 60th anniversary of the University and 25th anniversary of the Festival, offered communities across Essex the opportunity to celebrate the arts and culture of our county.

Dr Perry said: “As Chancellor, and patron of the Festival and Essex girl and Essex author, it’s incredibly exciting to see the University and the community coming together to affirm the rich history and tradition of Essex as a county, the importance of the arts and humanities in university education, and all the richness and wonderful things that the arts in Essex has to offer.”

The launch kicks off more than a month of Festival events, across the county, including author’s talks, exclusive film screenings and exhibitions. Open from 3 to 16 June is an exhibition of poetry and art, inspired by the people and places of Essex, created by creative writing PhD student Lelia Ferro.

Find out what’s on near you and how to get involved.