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Poet Laureate and Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist at Literary Leicester festival

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Poet Laureate and Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist at Literary Leicester festival

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Communities and also in Education

Please note: the Carol Ann Duffy event is now fully booked.

Some of the biggest names in the literary world will descend on Leicester for the University of Leicester’s annual celebration of the written word, Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 November.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Will Self, acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin and former politician and journalist Chris Mullin are some of the leading figures due to appear at the University’s fifth Literary Leicester festival.

The four–day festival will feature a variety of talks and events for all ages around the University’s main campus and Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough Centre.

There will also be a number of events focusing on Charles Dickens in celebration of the author’s bicentenary.

The opening day on Wednesday (7 October) will include talks from Charles Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin and novelist Will Self, who will be signing copies of his latest book Umbrella, as well as the University’s Professor Phil Shaw and Dr Julian North.

Thursday (8 October) features readings by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, whose event is already fully booked, and award- winning poets Leontia Flynn and Christopher Reid.

Victoria Stewart, from the University’s School of English, will give a talk on Second World War Codebreaking in Fiction, Drama and Television, and eight Leicestershire writers will read and talk about their work at an event at Embrace Arts.

Friday (9 October) will feature a string of Dickens-themed events, including Dickens Treasures: The Bi-Centenary and Beyond, an examination of material from the Charles Dickens Museum.

It will also include Dickens Week by Week, a discussion of the serialisation of Dickens’ novels and his journals, and A Mutual Friend: Poems for Charles Dickens, featuring a panel of modern writers who will present poems responding to the life of the Victorian author.

Saturday (10 October) will feature talks from children’s authors Kes Gray, David Melling and Thomas Bloor and a workshop from children’s book illustrator Jennifer Bell.

The festival will close with an evening with Chris Mullin, the author, journalist, and former Member of Parliament. His books include three highly acclaimed volumes of diaries: A View from the Foothills, Decline and Fall and A Walk-On Part. His classic political thriller A Very British Coup was made into an award-winning television series and is being re-filmed.

The festival will also feature two exhibitions in the David Wilson Library. A Man for all Media: Dickens and the Mid-Victorian Press explores Dickens’ role as a journalist, editor and media proprietor, and Grassroutes: Eight Leicestershire Writers showcases the work of a group of Leicestershire authors.

The festival was organised by Christine Fyfe, University Librarian and Pro-Vice Chancellor with special responsibilities for students, as well as Professor Martin Stannard, Dr David Clark, Dr Corinne Fowler and Dr Holly Furneaux of the University’s School of English.

Christine Fyfe said: “We’re delighted once again to welcome some outstanding figures from the literary world to the fifth Literary Leicester festival, organized by the University of Leicester. Literary Leicester has developed a unique place in the local literary calendar, offering stimulating events to capture the imagination.  It’s free to attend – just bring along a passion for reading and books.”

Some events require a ticket obtained in advance from Embrace Arts, online at www.embracearts.co.uk, email litleic@le.ac.uk, tel 0116 252 2320.

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