From 6th – 16th June the 8th annual Belfast Book Festival, supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, will open the world of books to everyone. For 11 days venues across the city including The Crescent will come alive with unique and diverse events featuring high profile authors as well as events exploring a range of interests and themes.
To celebrate the Festival’s 8th year check out these 8 reasons why you shouldn’t miss it:
International authors Some of the key highlights for this year includes; acclaimed journalist and former Downing Street Press Secretary Alastair Campbell; award winning comedian, writer and actress Francesca Martinez; champion motorcyclist and television presenter Steve Parrish; adventurer and environmentalist Huw Kingston; the Medicinal chef Dale Pinnock; Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balagué and mathematician, scientist and philosopher John Lennox.
Roald Dahl inspired Family Fun Day On Saturday 16th June Lower Crescent Park will come alive with the wonderful characters and stories of the great Roald Dahl. Supported by Belfast City Council, children of all ages and abilities will enjoy arts & crafts, face painting, interactive storytelling, children’s author readings, entertainment and a book fair. Best of all it’s free to attend.
Belfast’s First Lit Crawl For one night only on Saturday 16th June the area known as the Queen’s Quarter will welcome Belfast’s first Lit Crawl. The night is divided into 3 sessions, each lasting 45 minutes, to make a fast-paced evening of pop-up events and quirky literary happenings in unusual venues across the area. There’s lots to choose from and it’s all FREE.
Workshops Get creative at this year’s festival as the authors and poets of Belfast Book Festival 2018 share their knowledge, wisdom and know-how with a superb programme of workshops and classes for anyone and everyone with a writing itch to scratch.
Music and words Donal Scullion leads a special guest band for Astral Weeks: The Music And The Myths Of Van Morrison. Poet, writer and novelist Jan Carson and singer songwriter Anthony Toner: will be your travel guides as they lead you on an adventure through some exceptional pieces of writing and songs which explore our obsession with the open road. Join spectacular storytelling duo Jane Talbot and Noel Harron for a rambunctious evening of story and song! The stories in the show are original, dark faerie tales or quirky, radical re-tellings, and they’re all set locally. Lucy Collins and poets Maria McManus and Nessa O'Mahony are joined by HIVE Choir for a unique collaboration, exploring women's representation in literature and sound, from suffrage to the present.
More for the family And there’s more for the family. Bring along your little one for Chamber Babies as pianist Nadene Fiorentini will be performing The Mother Goose Suite, Northern Ireland Opera will offer an interactive afternoon which is designed specifically for children of primary school age, let their imagination flourish and explore their ideas about a new fairytale world with mysterious creatures, magical landscapes and exotic sounds. Direct from London’s West End, the Grand Opera House, in association with The Belfast Book Festival welcomes The Kite Runner the critically acclaimed stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini.
Literary lunch Throughout the festival enjoy a range of literary events at lunchtime. Join Sir Robert Salisbury in the beautiful setting of the Botanic Gardens Palm House to learn of the inspiring story of how he and Rosemary transformed an unloved rural wasteland into a thriving, renowned wildlife garden. Join Diana Oxlade as she gives an illustrated talk about her often funny and surreal experience of producing her unique book A Tropical Glen, a Florilegium’ and Frances Green will talk about Flowers at the Frontline which considers the role of women and the part they and fresh flowers played in boosting morale at home and overseas. Belfast Book Festival has also teamed up with Linen Hall Library to bring you a host of literary events for you to enjoy during your lunch hour.
Poetry Poetry JukeBoxis an audio installation of contemporary poetry which is located permanently in the grounds of The Crescent and The Festival has partnered with the Poetry JukeBox to celebrate the works of Mairtín Crawford & Heather Newcombe. Join James Harpur, Mark Roper and John F Deane for an evening of readings from three superlative poets at The Crescent. Poetry NI proudly presents The Belfast Book Festival Poetry Slam!
Make sure you don’t miss out on those must see shows with the festival Bookworm pass which grants you access to an unlimited number of book festival events.
For further details on the Bookworm pass and the full festival programme visit www.belfastbookfestival.com Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #BelfastBook.
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