Scroll down for the 2017 programme

Monday 6 March
Dinner with 
Partnership Event with Salvo's Salumeria

7.00pm Salvo's Salumeria, Otley Road
£15 from Salvo’s          Book by phone 0113 275 8877 0r online    

Tuesday 7 March

Wednesday 8 March
Friendly Fire

Sunday 6 March

Sankakei is a trio featuring poets Amina Alyal, Oz Hardwick and musician Michael Graham. The group formed whilst working with York-based Japanese drumming group Kaminari Taiko, in a dynamic performance of Japanese style words and music built upon the thundering beats of taiko drumming.       

Michael Graham
In September 2013 the opportunity arose to play inside The Maze, a temporary art installation in Wakefield. Due to space limitations, Amina, Oz and Michael devised a more intimate show, and Sankakei – the name is a contraction of ‘sankakukei,’ the Japanese word for triangle – was born.    On an Eastern Breeze is a piece for two voices and the stringed instruments, koto and shamisen. Sankakei have performed it in bars, boats and chapels, as well as in more conventional concert settings. It has been released as a CD (Catchment Recordings), and the poems have been published as Close as Second Skins (IDP, 2015), earning Amina and Oz a place on the shortlist for Best Collaborative Work in the 2015 Saboteur Awards.

(Note time is 3pm)

3pm    House event          Book now with Richard Wilcocks : 0113 225 7397
Free entry, collection for Refugees

Sunday 6 March     Partnership event with Irish Arts
How independent is Ireland?
A lecture by Bernard Purcell
Ireland makes much of its hard-earned independence but it is full of apparent contradictions – the authors it celebrates had for much of the period of independence to go to the UK, mainland Europe and further afield to enjoy the necessary creative freedom to flourish. Even today many of them are boasted of by people who don’t read their work. 
A country that feigns outrage when Sky calls Saoirse Ronan and Michael Fassbender ‘British’ ignores that its national broadcaster shows UK soaps at the same time as the UK channels that are freely available and regards Leeds, Man Utd, Liverpool and all the other Premiership Clubs as ‘home teams’. It affects to be different but embraces the UK’s soaps and football and the US’s economic model. Without the UK, Europe and even the US it would revert to the insular, regressive, protectionist society which exported so many of its people to this country and further but has not yet, it appears, fully admitted that to itself.
Bernard Purcell edits the Irish World in London which he has done since 2012. He ran the London Bureau of the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Evening Herald for nearly twenty years during which time he covered the notorious miscarriage of justice cases, Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, Maguire Seven, and Judith Ward, the IRA terror campaign and the subsequent Northern Ireland peace process and political process among many other stories. He is also a former Brussels-based European Editor – in the mid-80s and again 20 years later – for the Irish Independent group and also worked in Belfast and France. He has been a regular contributor to Sky News, RTE, CNN and other broadcasters.

7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road

Monday 7 March
Eat with Adonis


Ali Ahmad Said Esber, also known by the pen-name Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet, essayist and translator considered one of the most influential and dominant Arab poets of the modern era. He led a modernist revolution in the second half of the twentieth century, exerting a great influence on Arabic poetry comparable to T.S. Eliot's in the anglophone world. His dozen books of translation include the first complete Arabic version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (2002).

Hear some of his poems (in English), listen to music from the Arab world and  and sit down for a Lebanese meal. Mint's shawarmas are exceptionally good!

Listen to the poems in Arabic - -  الاستماع إلى قصائد بالعربية

£10 Mint Café, North Lane
7.15pm   Book now - 0113 226 4843

Tuesday 8 March
Ian Clayton
A Song for my Father 
Partnership event with Leeds Libraries
Photo by Richard Kenworthy

What happens when you only know your dad when you're a young boy and then, one day, when you are middle-aged, he phones to say he'd like to see you again before he dies? In the space of one year, Ian Clayton makes a voyage around China, America and his father to ponder the familiar questions: Is blood thicker than water? Does it matter who teaches us so long as we learn? How do we let go of something that we never really had in the first place? With characteristic storytelling, wit and good humour, Ian Clayton reflects on a lifelong search for a father figure, skipping across the generations to weave a tale of how we relate, what we do with what we've got and what happens when some things just don't work out the way we want them to

Ian Clayton has written on subjects as varied as the environment, homelessness, jazz and rugby league. His stories are about making sense of where we come from. He is a keen advocate of local libraries and often writes and speaks in support of the important role they play in community life. In his spare time, Ian likes the odd pint or two in tap rooms. Join us to hear Ian talk about his book A Song for my Father.

6.30pm  Headingley Library

Tuesday 8 March Partnership event with Films at Heart

A father – Viggo Mortensen - and daughter journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization. “Captivating” and “unearthly” help to describe a film that takes you on an intriguing, quixotic and dreamlike journey through gorgeous landscapes that bring to mind 19th Century oil paintings. This is an art-house Western – a strange, slow-paced ride through the vast, open space of the Argentine Patagonia. Viggo Mortensen also wrote the musical score – now that is intriguing.

Jauja will be preceded by three short films made last year by participants on the  Cinage international part-time film course for the over sixty-fives, held at the Northern Film School of Leeds Beckett University. Two of the films were located in Headingley and several people from Headingley and neighbouring districts were involved in the production and direction of all three and featured in the acting.

      8 pm Heart Centre, Bennett Road 
      £6/£5 concessions/£4 members 
      Tickets only on the door

Tuesday 8 March 
Being Red - Ken Livingstone

A Politics for the Future

How should the left govern? In the wake of a huge surge of interest in the Labour Party, Ken Livingstone serves up an insider's account of the Party and its future, at a pivotal moment in its history.

At a time when many are now looking to revive Labour's potential, Livingstone has form. His account takes us from the self-proclaimed ‘radical socialism’ of the Greater London Council, to his controversial independent candidacy that saw him branded as ‘dangerous’ by the Blairites, to the political battles against privatisation and pollution that characterised his time as Mayor. At each point, he suggests possible lessons for those who would seek to follow, or improve on, his achievements today.

Having spent years at the head of the GLC, served two terms as London Mayor, and having gone head to head with Boris Johnson, Being Red offers a clear-sighted study of the left's possibilities and limitations, with reflections on the current state of the Labour Party and a look into its future.

Recently published by Pluto Press
Leeds University Union 1pm for 1.30pm start

Ken Livingstone

Wednesday 9 March Partnership event with Leeds Rhinos Foundation

The Oval World: a global history of rugby

Tony Collins
Tony Collins will be reading from his new book 'The Oval World: a global history of rugby’ and talking about why Leeds is one of the most important cities in the story of rugby. Illustrated with films of historic matches, Tony will explain how rugby became a vital part of the social history of the north of England.

Rugby has always been a sport with as much drama off the field as on it. For every thrilling last-minute Jonny Wilkinson drop- goal to win the World Cup or Jonah Lomu rampage down the touchline for a try there has been a split, a feud, or a controversy.

The Oval World is the first full-length history of rugby on a world scale – from its origins in the village-based football games of medieval times to the globalised sport of the twenty-first century, now played in over a hundred countries. It tells the story of how a game played in an obscure English public school became the winter sport of the British Empire, spreading to France, Argentina, Japan, and the rest of the world. It also explores how American football – and other games, such as Australian, Canadian, and Gaelic football – emerged from their English cousin.

Featuring the great moments in the game’s history and its legendary names – David Duckham, Serge Blanco, Billy Boston, and David Campese, alongside Rupert Brooke, King George V, Boris Karloff, Charles de Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela – The Oval World investigates just what it is about rugby that enables it to thrive in countries with very different traditions and cultures. This is the definitive world history of a truly global game.

Tony Collins is Professor of History and former Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. His previous books include Rugby’s Great Split, Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain, and A Social History of English Rugby Union, each of which won the Aberdare prize for sports history book of the year. 

7.15pm Headingley Stadium, Tryzone

Thursday 10 March
The Ten Thousand Hoops

John Spurling
Novelist, playwright and critic John Spurling’s book The Ten Thousand Things won the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The novelset in Imperial China, is the story of Wang Meng, one of the fourteenth century’s great painters, and was acclaimed by the chair of the judging panel as “a book which deserves enormous credit”.

In his presentation and reading, which he titles with a metaphorical reference to croquet, John will talk about the difficulties of writing The Ten Thousand Things and of getting it published.

John Spurling has written some thirty-five plays, twenty-nine of which have been produced on stage, radio or TV.  He has published three other novels, The Ragged End , After Zenda , A Book of Liszts and also a retelling of Greek myths in Arcadian Nights: Greek Myths Reimagined.  He has written two critical books: on Samuel Beckett’s plays (with John Fletcher) and Graham Greene’s novels and is a former art critic of the New Statesman.  

7.15pm  Headingley Library

Friday 11 March
Cabaret Thirty


Could that child in the photo have once been you? Do you still love to tread the boards? If you are under thirty, or okay if you look under thirty, this is your chance to perform. It could be poetry, or song, or stand-up comedy, in a group or on your own. If you think you’ve got it, then flaunt it!

There’s no age limit for the audience. Get in touch now to make sure
 you are on the list - last year when we held a similar event, it turned out to be wildly popular.

Contact with all the details.

7.30pm Heart Centre, Bennett Road
Under 18s free, adults £5

Saturday 12 March 
Sex, Power and the Court of Charles II

Don Jordan
It's 1660 and King Charles II returns to England after fourteen years of exile, determined to enjoy all that power can provide - including a voracious sex life. The King's Bed, Sex, Power and the Court of Charles II uniquely tells the story of Charles's reign through his private life. As mistress follows mistress, palace intrigue builds up until the king's personal relationships and the affairs of the realm become dangerously intertwined, threatening to destabilise the nation in a time of war. Don Jordan will take us inside the Palace of Whitehall and introduce us to the king's lovers, including the witty Nell Gwyn and the grasping Barbara Palmer, long-suffering Queen Catherine, the courtiers known as the 'merry gang' and even the king's personal 'pimpmaster' and pox doctor.

Don Jordan is a writer and filmmaker. Among other awards, he has won two Blue Ribbons at the New York Film and Television Festival. He has worked widely in television current affairs, documentaries, history programmes and drama. He co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning feature film Love is the Devil about the painter Francis Bacon. Don lives in London with his wife Eithne, who is a doctor. Don is keen to point out that he once lived in Yorkshire and thoroughly enjoyed it.

3pm  New Headingley Club
£5   Tea and cake included

Saturday 12 March
Enclosed! John Clare, Poet
Music and Drama with Trio Literati

John Clare 1793 - 1864
Eleanor Rastall soprano

Richard Rastall, Jane Oakshott and Maggie Mash

John Clare (1793-1864), self-taught poet and lyrical observer of nature, also turned his hand to sharp political satire, bawdy dialogue, verse tales, sketches, and an intermittent journal.

From Helpston village games and gypsy fiddles, to the literary sunshine of London, with its salons and theatres ….then Clare's legendary Walk home from the Asylum,  Trio Literati offer a colourful and unexpected portrait of the man, his work and the vanishing rural England which inspired him.
With Eleanor Rastall (soprano and quick-change artist), Gina le Faux (fiddle) and Jonathan Drummond (pianoforte).

Trio Literati "full of energy, wit and style" Peter Holman, Opera Restor'd.

"Beautiful poetry reading and a perfect mix of light and shade."  (Audience comment on "Enclos'd",  Headingley Lit Fest 2015)

7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road

Monday 14 March
Science Fiction Cinema
An illustrated talk by Liz Rymer
Partnership event with Café Scientifique

Liz will be exploring the speculative nature of Science Fiction cinema and its role in fleshing out what are often quite difficult concepts.  The genre is often used by filmmakers to make sense of what is happening in the here and now, providing a space to consider the impact of social, political and technological change. These and other issues will be addressed over the course of the evening. Examples include Blade Runner, Dark City, and The Matrix.

Liz Rymer has over twenty-five years’ experience in the film industry which covers all aspects of the business from production through to marketing, distribution, and exhibition. She is currently the Programme Leader for Film and Associate Principal Lecturer in Film & Media at Leeds Trinity University.


7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
£2      Replicants welcome

Tuesday 15 March     
Intriguing Tales
Partnership event with local creative writing groups

In 2016 we are working again with our old friends from the Workers Educational Association groups in Headingley and the Osmondthorpe Hub.  

Once again a collection of readings of poetry, short stories, life writing and intriguing tales, will be performed in the main hall of the Heart Centre. Crafty, secret, underhand, captivating – our local budding and experienced writers will present an eclectic selection of pieces to fascinate or arouse your curiosity.

11 am to 1.30 pm including refreshment break
Shire Oak hall, Heart Centre, Bennett Road
Free – donations for refreshments 

Tuesday 15 March
Cinema Stories

Before the Second World War, there were around seventy cinemas operating in Leeds. Now, though some remain open, most of these ‘forgotten temples’ have been
repurposed or demolished.

Since 2014, poets James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard have been visiting the sites of legendary picture-houses, and documenting their current status with
two inimitable, unmistakable poetic voices – whilst also considering the remarkable shared (yet personal) experience that is cinema-going.

“Matthew Hedley Stoppard uses inventive language and
striking imagery ... [he has written] one of the most
arresting poetry collections of the year.”
— The Guardian

“James Nash illuminates, wonderfully, the small details

and the large issues of life, love and language. [He writes]

magical and memorable poems: poignant yet rich with

humour, and underpinned, above all, by a great humanity.”

— Sarah Waters

7.15pm  Headingley Library, North Lane

Wednesday 16 March Partnership Event with Leeds Combined Arts
Beyond The Hundredth Monkey

Claire Rae Randall
After Claire Rae Randall published Waking The Monkey! Becoming the Hundredth Monkey last year new information began to emerge of a previously unrealised back story of intrigues from which the Hundredth Monkey event that the book describes was seeded.  Roots of the New Age movement dating as far back as the 1950s involving the CIA, sixties counter culture, military intelligence and psychological operations aimed at long term social engineering became apparent.  Claire will also explore how this relates to more recent material about cosmic channelling and contemporary political trends.

7.45pm  pm Heart Centre, Bennett Road
£4/£3 with refreshments

Thursday 17 March
Poetry and Performance
Partnership event with Ralph Thoresby School

Poetry is lofty thought and impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words – so says the online dictionary. And so say our many young performers from the Own Your Words poetry group which meet at Ralph Thoresby each week to devise, revise and present their highly original work. In addition to vital support from Head of English Kate Wolstenholme at Ralph Thoresby, our creative poets have been given extra guidance and confidence by Matthew Hedley Stoppard, local published poet, writer and performer. The evening will include music and dance by other young people to entice and intrigue. All welcome.

Matthew Hedley Stoppard
Matthew Hedley Stoppard was born in Derbyshire in 1985.After a brief career as a journalist, he now works as a librarian,and lives in Leeds with his wife and two sons.
Recordings of Matthew’s poetry include Insect Eucharist and Other Poems (2012) and the spoken-word album Runt County (2014), both available from Adult Teeth Recordings.

On the page, his poetry has appeared in MagmaIotaCake, The Morning StarA Complicated Way of Being Ignored (Grist, 2012) and Holding Your Hand Through Hard Times (Osset Originals, 2014).

Matthew's debut collection of poetry, A Family Behind Glass, was published by Valley Press in May 2013, and was included in the Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year. His next publication was Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet James Nash, launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015.

Supported by Leeds City Council Outer North West area management committee

6 – 8 pm, Ralph Thoresby School

Friday 18 March
The Beat goes on   Partnership event with Café Lento

Pay ironic tribute to the Beat Generation, the writers, poets and musicians who held sway in the literary world of the United States in the fifties – Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti for example – by coming to this event wearing what you think is the coolest gear for a beatnik. Be as cartoonish as you like – you dig? That means black, a beret, special eye make-up and whatever grabs you as suitable or even archetypal. Kerouac evolved a theory of a post – war generation which would become “beatific” by turning its back on a corrupt materialistic society and that's how all the cats in the café are going to feel when they listen to some choice extracts and experience the searingly good Sam Dunn Quartet.

Sam Dunn
Guitarist Sam has played with a many of the UK's leading jazz musicians, in a variety of settings, including Ronnie Scott's. He performed with the late composer and pianist Mike Garrick's big band, and has played with other UK jazz greats like Don Rendell, Dave Cliff, Alan Barnes, Al Wood, Ian Carr, Dave Green, amongst others, as well as many of his contemporaries.

"Keep playing those right chord changes, you sound great!" 
George Wein

(Founder, Newport Jazz Festival)

Listen to what Sam was like last year on YouTube at

See Alan Whicker interviewing long-haired young people in Newquay in 1960:

8 pm Cafe Lento, North Lane

Saturday 19 March
Florence and Jem
The Wooden Dragon - Book Launch

Florence stopped. She didn’t dare move. For somewhere deep in the wood a raucous rumbling roar was getting louder and louder.


Following the success of last year’s The Whale in the Woods event, local author Julian Oxley is back at the cosy Meanwood Institute to launch his second book in the Florence and Jem series - The Wooden Dragon.

Set in Meanwood Woods and The Hollies the illustrated children’s story follows Florence and her dog, Jem as they search for the owner of the raucous rumbling roar. A family event.

11.30am Meanwood Institute, Green Road 
Free   Tea and yummy cakes available.

Saturday 19 March  
Pitch and Pen

Ever wondered whether that idea you have for a novel could fly? Would you like the chance to pitch your story to a team of publishing industry professionals?

You’ve seen Dragons’ Den, so now Headingley Litfest invite you to pitch your idea for a novel in front of an audience and a panel of professional writers and publishers. Not only is this a great chance to see whether your idea is sound, it also gives you a chance to see what the competition is like out there. What makes a great idea stand out from the pile?

The winning pitcher will be invited to submit a synopsis and opening three chapters for consideration by either top British Crime publisher, Caffeine Nights, or Hebden Bridge based independent publishers, Bluemoose Books.  Regardless of whether a publishing contract is offered, feedback will be provided on the submission package.

The panel of judges will be made up of:

Kevin Duffy - Bluemoose Books
Alison Taft – Novelist and Editor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy

Helen Cadbury – Winner of the Northern Writers’ Crime Award

4.30 - 6.30pm  New Headingley Club  St Michael's Road
£5 to pitch   For further details on how to pitch please email
£2 to attend

Saturday 19 March 
Women of Mystery

Headingley LitFest is thrilled to welcome crime writers Sophie Hannah, Danuta Reah, Helen Cadbury and Alison Taft to this year’s Women Of Mystery panel.

Sophie Hannah
Helen Cadbury


Danuta Reah
Alison Taft

Sophie Hannah published her first poetry book, The Hero and the Girl Next Door, at the age of 24. Her poems are now studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. She is also the author of a book for children and a number of psychological crime novels. Her first novel, Little Face, was published in 2006 and has sold a phenomenal 100,000 copies. Her 2008 novel The Point of Rescue was produced for ITV as the two-part drama Case Sensitive which was shown in May 2011. It starred Olivia Williams in the lead role of DS Charlie Zailer and Darren Boyd as DC Simon Waterhouse. Its first showing had 5.4 million viewers. A second two-part story based on The Other Half Lives was shown on 12 and 13 July 2012.

‘Hannah – like Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell before her – is an expert at exploring the delicate line between the ordinary and the monstrous. A Game for All the Family is the product of an author with an extraordinary imagination, working at the height of her powers.’ Independent

‘For readers hoping to beat Hannah to the conclusion, the twisting plot is not only enthralling but uniquely challenging.   This is another spellbinding book from a novelist whose ability to turn domestic setting into a forum for high drama is difficult to match.’ Daily Express

Helen Cadbury is a crime writer whose new novel, Bones in the Nest, second in the Sean Denton series, is out now. Her debutTo Catch a Rabbit, was joint winner of the Northern Crime Award 2012. First published by Moth Publishing, it was re-released in a new edition by  Allison and Busby. Helen Cadbury was chosen as an Amazon Rising Star, best debuts of January 2015. In October 2015, To Catch a Rabbit was selected in the Yorkshire Post’s top twelve books that best define Yorkshire, written since the millennium.

Danuta Reah, who also writes under the name Carla Banks, is the author of seven crime novels, a novella, and many short stories. In 2005 Danuta won the CWA Short Story Dagger for No Flies on Frank. Her story Glazed, in Getting Even was shortlisted for the 2008 CWA Short Story Award. She publishes academic books, valued as resources for the study of language, covering topics as diverse as how the press creates monsters and how to address a thousand year old vengeance demon. She also offers courses in Creative Writing and is past Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.

Alison Taft (Our Father Who Art Out There Somewhere, Shallow Be Thy Grave, My Time Has Come) is currently the LitFest's Writer in Residence, well-known and valued as a creative writing tutor. Born and raised in Burnley, Alison dreamed of becoming a writer ever since reading Harriet the Spy by torchlight under the bedcovers, aged eight. After completing a degree, Alison lived in Crete and spent time in the Middle and Far East. In the mid-nineties she was a keen supporter of the free party network. She has worked in a variety of jobs but after being sacked once too often for gross insubordination, Alison decided to heed the words of one employer who described her as ‘unmanageable’, and became a full time writer. Alison now lives in Leeds with her partner and two children. She spends her evenings at the computer, sipping mint tea and plotting her revenge.

7.15pm for 8pm start New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road

Sunday 20 March
A Manxman in Leeds

Doug Sandle


Doug Sandle came to Leeds from the Isle of Man as a student in 1960 and has worked and lived in the city ever since. In this illustrated performance of poetry, story, music and song (including contributions from Maria Sandle and also The Retrolettes) Doug presents a number of surprising links between the city and the Island. These include a Meanwood poet, the Bee Gees, a city flagpole, several pubs, a famous dance band leader, the city varieties, a well-known radio presenter, the Who, the Kinks, a motorcycle shop, a mysterious doctor and King Edward VII and  ………intriguing and entertaining!


3.00pm Meanwood Institute, Green Road

Sunday 20 March
Gerry Kennedy
The Booles and the Hintons - a biographical quest.
Ever wondered where Boolean logic came from?

Gerry Kennedy
In 2000 at a relative's funeral, Gerry Kennedy discovered that he was linked to an illustrious chain of English and American 19th century radicals who had played significant roles in shaping the history of the last two centuries. Their work included the very foundation of the digital world, the fourth dimension, a revolutionary best-selling novel, the building of the atomic bomb, botanical discoveries in Mexico and radical participation in China from 1948 through to the Cultural Revolution. 

Whilst researching the lives of the Booles and Hintons Gerry was surprised to find that in 1983, while on a peace mission that took him to the USA through Russia, China and Japan, he had passed unknowingly right by the geographical centres of their lives. An account of that personal journey and the story of his ancestors are intertwined in his intriguing and fascinating new book, The Booles and The Hintons -Two Dynasties That Helped Shape The Modern World. 

Gerry Kennedy is a former Leeds student and lecturer. He is a freelance writer, radio journalist and broadcaster who co-authored The Voynich Manuscript, 2004, OrionPress.

(Cut this pic of cover if necessary)

7.30pm  New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road

Monday 21 March
An Evening with Andrew McMillan and Linda Black

Linda Black

Andrew McMillan
In 2015 Andrew McMillan’s poetry collection physical won The Guardian First Book Award, the first to be awarded for a poetry collection. It also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. With three previous pamphlet collections published by Red Squirrel Press, his work also can be found in anthologies such as The Salt Book of Younger Poets, Best British Poetry 2013 and Best British Poetry 2015. Recent single poems can be found in the London Review of Books, The Financial Times, The Guardian and Modern Poetry in Translation. Andrew describes his recent work as attempting to look at masculinity, the body and intimacy in a straightforward, unadorned way. Born and brought up in South Yorkshire he currently lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester.

Linda Black is a poet and an artist. She received the 2004/5 Poetry School Scholarship and won the 2006 New Writing Ventures Award for Poetry. The beating of wings (Hearing Eye, 2006) was the PBS Pamphlet Choice for spring 2007, when she also received an Arts Council Writer's Award. Her collections are Inventory and Root, (Shearsman 2008 & 2011) and The Son of a Shoemaker (Hearing Eye 2012). The latter consists of collaged prose poems based on the early life of Hans Christian Andersen, plus the author’s pen and ink illustrations. It was the subject of a Poetry Society exhibition in 2013. Her collection Slant is due for publication in spring this year.  She is co-editor of Long Poem Magazine.

7.15pm  Headingley Library, North Lane

Tuesday 22 March
Poetry Gala at Lawnswood School

John Siddique

Lawnswood School students have been enthusiastic contributors to the LitFest ever since it started. Encouraged and mentored by dedicated teachers from the English department and by this year’s special workshop leader – poet John Siddique – they will present an evening of poetry and much else in their usual charismatic style. John will be the honoured guest performer.

John Siddique FRSA is a poet, essayist and author. The Spectator describes him as ‘A Stellar British Poet,’ and ‘The Times of India calls him 'Rebellious by nature, pure at heart.'  He is the author of Full Blood, Recital – An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, and The Prize. His poetry collection Don’t Wear It On Your Head is a perennial favourite with younger readers. He is the co-author of the story/memoir Four Fathers.

John is well known for his authentic style, his captivating readings, and his infectious love of literature. He a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. John is the former British Council Writer-in-Residence at California State University - Los Angeles, and he holds the title of Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University.

6 – 8pm  Lawnswood School

Our Community Programme
LitFest is working with a number of local schools, thanks to funding from the Area Management Committees of Inner and Outer North West Leeds  We have engaged professional poets Malika Booker, Helen Mort and James Nash to work with primary school groups to develop confidence in writing and presentation through poetry, spoken word and short stories. 

This year we are working with the following primary schools: Brudenell, Ireland Wood, Quarry Mount, Shire Oak, Spring Bank, St Chad’s and Weetwood.  We are working with local secondary schools Lawnswood, with John Siddique, and Ralph Thoresby, with Matthew Hedley Stoppard.  We are also working once again with the disabled writers from Osmondthorpe Hub, in partnership with some of the Headingley writers, both WEA groups.