The 39th Ilkley Literature Festival 2012 celebrates the best in fact and fiction with a roll call of writers that includes award-winning novelists and well respected broadcasters. Taking place at venues across the Victorian spa town the festival runs from Friday 28 September until Sunday 14 October 2012.
Dozens of writers will appear in Ilkley for the first time this year. Among them is Sheffield born travel documentarian and former member of the iconic British comedy institution Monty Python, Michael Palin, and sports broadcast journalist Clare Balding whose memoir ‘My Animals and Other Family’ will be released in September. BBC Radio 2 news presenter Jeremy Vine will look back over his career in his biography ‘It’s all News to Me’ while the multi award winning Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, best known for the daily strip ‘If..’ will talk about some of his favourite, most provocative comic strips.
Flying the flag for literary fiction at this years festival are Booker prize-winning author of the ‘Regeneration’ trilogy Pat Barker, who returns to World War One in her new book, ‘Toby’s Room’; American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford will discuss his latest novel ‘Canada’. Comedian, author and presenter of the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4’s, Sandi Toksvig will introduce her new book ‘Valentine Grey’ set during the Boer War and former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion will read from his new novel ‘Silver: Return to Treasure Island’.
Poets will feature throughout the festival with appearances from playwright and official Olympic Poet Lemn Sissay and hugely popular poet Benjamin Zephaniah who will present at a poetry reading for adults and young people. Barnsley’s own Ian McMillan will introduce and discuss fellow poet Paul Mills’s film ‘You Should’ve Seen Us’. Reflecting on the participants and victims of the 1612 Lancashire Witch Trials, Skipton born poet, author and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Blake Morrison will introduce his new collection ‘A Discoverie Of Witches’ while fellow Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage recounts his recent poetry-reading journey across the Pennine Way in ‘Walking Home’.
The summer of royalty and sport lasts into the autumn with festival visits from biographer Penny Junor and her latest book ‘Prince William – The People’s Prince’, writer and commentator William Shawcross who introduces ‘Counting One’s Blessings’, the first published collection of letters from the Queen Mother and ‘Chumbawamba’ guitarist and fell runner, Boff Whalley, who discusses his book ‘Run Wild’ which looks at the relationship between our feet and the earth.
Joy Division co founder Peter Hook will give an insight into the brief life of the band and Classic FM broadcaster John Suchet talks about his biography ‘The Treasures of Beethoven’. Former Time Out music editor Nick Coleman will explore how his relationship with music changed after he woke up one morning to Sudden Neursosensory Hearing Loss, in his book ‘The Train in the Night: A Story of Music and Loss’.
Two of the UK’s leading children’s authors, former Children’s Laureates Michael Morpurgo and Michael Rosen, will feature at the Festival.
Festival Director Rachel Feldberg commented: “This year we have been influenced by a momentous summer of sport, culture and commemoration and this is reflected in the variety of wonderful writers we have appearing at the Festival. With over 200 speakers and events covering these areas as well as crime fiction, music, history and food and drink, the Festival has plenty to entertain and educate for all ages.”