Swindon Festival of Literature 2013

pen and paperThe twentieth Swindon Festival of Literature is fast approaching …It’s a fantastic festival this year with some great speakers and there is plenty of time to start reading all those authors you plan to see. Do the groundwork between now and May and you’ll really be able to get the most out of every event you go to. Check out the titles available in our libraries, and order them online via our library catalogue.

The Festival runs between the 6th and 18th May 2013. Details of the full programme of events can be found on the official website.

As long time supporters of the Festival, Swindon Libraries are delighted to be hosting events this year at four different library venues. Tickets for all events are available now from the relevant venues and online at Swindon Tickets.

The Visitor Information Centre at Central Library ( 01793 466454) is selling tickets for all the events at the Central Library which are;

Wednesday 8th MayMartin Palmer – 7.30pm (£5 / £4) – on Britain’s history through its rural and urban landscape.

sacred landThe most surprising details of our surroundings hold a host of clues that can help us know more about our own and our country’s past. Our landscape, urban and rural, holds hidden messages. In his new book, Sacred Land, writer, broadcaster, advisor to the UN, and sacred tour guide, Martin Palmer encourages us to re-examine surroundings we may take for granted, including villages, castles, fields, and town halls. The book has a foreword by Melvyn Bragg.

SOLD OUT! Friday 10th May Andy Binks – 7.30pm: A MAN WITH A STICK – with Andy Binks. What was ‘A Man with a Stick’ doing in 1950s Swindon? Come and enjoy some previously unseen photographs of Swindon and discover exactly what ‘the man with the stick’ was doing. This event will be both serious and fun!

Monday 13th May –  Felicity Aston – 7.30pm (£5/£4) – on Call of the White.

call of the whiteCan you ski? Do you like ice, snow, and skiing? Could you ski to the South Pole?

Those were the challenging questions that British adventurer Felicity Aston, author of Call of the White: taking the world to the South Pole, put to women from around the world as she set out to create the most international all-female expedition ever to ski to the Pole. The team would not be experienced explorers but ‘ordinary’ women who wanted to inspire others to follow their dreams or make a change for the better in their lives.

Felicity received more than 800 applications. ‘What is skiing?’ asked a woman from Ghana. In the event, Felicity led a team from places as diverse as Jamaica, India, Singapore, and Cyprus, some of whom had never even seen snow or spent the night in a tent before joining the expedition on one of the toughest journeys on the planet.

Saturday 18th MayAF Harrold  – 2pm (Free): Suitable for ages 7 up. A F HARROLD – presents the fabulous and fearless Fizzlebert Stump!

fizzlebert stumpHave you ever heard of a boy who would run away from a circus and join a library? Well, Fizz Stump did and had loads of adventures along the way. One minute he almost loses his head in a lion’s mouth and the next, he is lost in a good book! Author, A F Harrold, comes to Swindon Central Library, to introduce you to Fizz and his amazing adventures, both bad and good.

There are also events at three of our other libraries:

Thursday 9th MayWest Swindon Library, – Stephen Haddelsey – 7pm (Tickets £5/£4 available from West Swindon Library, Link Centre SN5 7DL, Tel 01793 465555, and swindontickets.co.uk): In 1915, grinding ice floes crushed the Endurance, the ship which Sir Ernest Shackleton had hoped would help him be the first man to cross Antarctica. He did not live to make another attempt but his dream lived on. In his latest book, Shackleton’s Dream, critically-acclaimed author of two other works on polar exploration, Stephen Haddelsey tells the story, for the first time, of the trans-antarctic expedition led by Fuchs and Hillary, which became a dramatic ‘Race to the South Pole’.

Tuesday 14th May, Highworth Library, – Peter Caddick-Adams – 7pm (Tickets £5/£4 available from Highworth Library, Brewery Street SN6 7AJ, Tel 01793 463500 and swindontickets.co.uk)

Monte Cassino ten armies in hell.Do coalition operations with an ever-shifting cast of players, set in inhospitable mountain terrains, pursuing objectives set by politicians in distant capitals, sound familiar? Well, they have happened before. Alongside D-Day and Stalingrad, the five-month Monte Cassino campaign in central Italy is one of the best-known European land battles of the Second World War. It was characterised by the destruction of its world-famous abbey, an unjustifiable act of vandalism; and is a chilling reminder of what’s happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya today. World authority on battle-field history, author of the applauded joint biography of Montgomery and Rommel, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Peter Caddick-Adams’ latest book is Monte Cassino – ten armies in hell.

SOLD OUT! Thursday 16th May, Wroughton Library, Keith Hooper – (Tickets £2.50/£1.50 available from Wroughton Library,  Ellendune Centre, SN4 9LN. Tel 01793 798112 ) –  First Impressions: context and themes in the work of Jane Austen.

Why has the work of Jane Austen stood the test of time? What are the key issues in her writing? What are the overlooked ones?

Dr Keith Hooper, who holds a doctorate in nineteenth century Literature, uses the original title for Pride and Prejudice as a starting point to explore the work of Jane Austen. Revealing some often-overlooked contextual issues found in her writing, he will, with reference to many of her most popular characters, examine the themes that have contributed to her enduring success.

The Visitor Information Centre at Central Library ( 01793 466454) is also selling tickets for the following events at other venues;

Tuesday 7th May – Jon Cannon at Christ Church, 7.30pm, £6 (£5)

Thursday 9th May – Bluegate Poetry Open Mic at the Great Western Hotel, 7.30pm, £5 (£3)

Friday 10th May – Hilda Sheehan at The Platform, 7.30pm, £5 (£4)

Saturday 11th May – LIFE DRAWING & POETRY READINGS with SUKI at Artsite Post Modern Gallery, 2pm, £8 (£7)

Sunday 12th May – Tamar Yoseloff WORD & IMAGE: poetry and the Swindon Collection of Modern Art at Swindon Museum, 11am – 5pm, £25 (£20)

Tuesday 16th May – Mabel’s House Party at Artsite Post Modern Gallery, 7.30pm, £10 (includes nibbles, drinks, and all!)

Thursday 18th May – Frances Lewis on a dancing pilgrimage in the sacred landscape of Britain at Swindon Yoga and Massage Centre, 12noon, £5 (£4)

Full details of all events can be found on the festival website.