Birmingham Book Festival – Wit & Words in the City

The Birmingham Book Festival is about to hit the city with an outstanding array of events and sessions from some of our most respected writers including Caitlin Moran, Simon Armitage, Jackie Kay, Patrick Gale, Liz Lochead and Stuart Maconie.

The festival, now in its 14th year, is due to pack in a serious amount of literary activities and happenings during its ten day programme. As well as the usual readings & performances there are some innovative digital events, interactive storytelling sessions and even a poet ready to help you in a vintage ambulance.

 

‘Reliable Witness’ is the Birmingham Book Festival’s first ever commissioned interactive storytelling experience. So rather than just sitting patiently in passive mode you’re invited into the action to help determine the way the story goes. The central characters, Darren and Amy, are young and in love. You’ve been invited around to their flat for a spot of tea and biscuits. After a bit of nice chit chat the fun begins. You, the audience, are no longer going to be sitting back and merely taking it all in. You are now part of the action, part of the story.

The World According to Moran & Maconie brings together two leading contemporary commentators for an evening of thought, wisdom, culture and politics all injected with a large dose of humour. Caitlin Moran is well known for her handbook for modern times ‘How To Be A Woman’ and more recently for her new collection of writing ‘Moranthology’ where she takes on many issues of our day with power and wit including The Big Society, Big Hair, The Welfare State, caravans, Doctor Who, binge drinking and Downton Abbey. Stuart Maconie is a writer, journalist and radio DJ and has written some incisive books on our contemporary times such as ‘Hope and Glory: A People’s History of Modern Britain’ and ‘Pies & Prejudice’.

Another stand out element of this year’s festival has to be the Emergency Poet – The World’s First & Only Mobile Poetic First Aid Service. Inside a vintage 1960s ambulance located at the Custard Factory you will come across Dr Deborah Alma – a doctor of the couplet for the lost and needy. She will minister to all those hungry for the poetic. No appointment is needed. Drop by and see the doctor who can give a life affirming couplet or a mind altering stanza to all you lucky patients.

The 14th Birmingham Book Festival takes place 4-13 October, 2012

For full details, dates and times visit www.birminghambookfestival.org

For details on Reliable Witness go to http://reliablewitness.co.uk

words Lee Taylor

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