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First names announced for Spring Edition

First names announced for Spring Edition

Birmingham Literature Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the launch of a Spring Edition, in addition to its traditional October programme.

The Spring Edition, from 21st – 23rd April, incorporates canoes, bicycles and walks, a variety of venues across the city, and a host of writers from Birmingham and further afield, including Romania, Poland and the US.

The Festival Finale features best-selling American novelist Lionel Shriver, whose latest book The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047, imagines America’s economic and social collapse. Meanwhile Birmingham writer Luke Kennard will share his vision of a dystopia much closer to home: his debut novel The Transition is set amidst the housing crisis in the very near future.

Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, will be talking about her startling new memoir Everywoman: a defiant call to stand up, speak out and be counted. And blogger Emma Gannon will be in conversation with debut author Olivia Sudjic about growing up online.

Nature writer Alys Fowler will discuss her new book Hidden Nature – a journey through the canals of Birmingham by canoe. M.G.Leonard will talk beetles to celebrate the publication of her new book for young people, Beetle Queen.

Poet and playwright, Inua Ellams will bring his show An Evening with An Immigrant to Birmingham for the first time, after sell-out shows in London. And Birmingham’s own Natalie Haynes will mark the publication of her second novel, The Children of Jocasta, with a humorous talk called Honour Among Thebes.

The Spring Edition also includes the launch of a new anthology of Asian writing; a family illustration workshop; an evening with five Romanian poets; secret storytelling, silent reading and several writing workshops. The festival’s bookselling partner is Waterstones Birmingham.

Festival Director, Jonathan Davidson, said:

“I’m thrilled to present the Spring Edition of the Birmingham Literature Festival. It’s a significant year for us, celebrating twenty years of sharing great writing with this great city.

“But this year feels significant in other ways too. Making literature, and reading it – feels more important than ever. To be able to imagine someone else’s life gives us the possibility of understanding it better.”