Friday 10 February
A Cartoon History of Here
Ian McMillan and Tony Husband
Partnership event with Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (Heart)
|Tony Husband and Ian McMillan|
Created by tonight’s audience with Yorkshire poet, broadcaster and comedian Ian McMillan and Cartoonist of the Year Tony Husband. A fast-flowing, rapid-rafting adventure in which two top funny men reflect upon local stories and legends. For audiences, 9 to 109. @IMcMillan
Bloody Hell, the man's a genius! Yorkshire Post
Tony Husband is even funnier than me Griff Rhys Jones
7.00pm Heart Centre, Bennett Road
Monday 6 March
Dinner with Montalbano
Partnership Event with Salvo's Salumeria
During the past three LitFests, the Salumeria has hosted highly successful dinners with some of the greats of Italian literature – Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. This time, we move on to a well-known character from modern times – the Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano, played in television versions by Luca Zingaretti, pictured here with the man who wrote the novels – Andrea Camilleri. While working as a TV and stage director, he published the first of a long series of novels - La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featuring the fractious Montalbano, who is part of the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar.
Montalbano’s adventures are wildly popular in Italy, where fans often talk and write about what he loves to eat – he is very demanding. This makes him the ideal focus of an event devoted to food and literature. You can relish the cooking and listen to Gigliola Sulis and Richard Wilcocks, who will talk about Sicily and Camilleri’s work, read extracts and draw attention to some of the featured menus.
7.00pm Salvo's Salumeria, Otley Road
£15 from Salvo’s Book by phone 0113 275 8877 0r online http://www.salvos.co.uk/
Tuesday 7 March
The Lightless Sky
Partnership event with Leeds Libraries Read Regional
'To risk my life had to mean something. Otherwise what was it all for?' Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of twelve, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali embarked on a twelve-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty, and violence. Like so many of the migrants we hear about, he endured a terrifying, life-threatening journey on a tiny boat in the Mediterranean, braved the brutality of those who should care for children, and spent a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived, and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone.
Here in Britain he was fostered, went to a good school, worked hard and won a place at a top university. Gulwali was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. He wants to tell his story - to bring to life the plight of the thousands of men, women and children who risk their lives to leave behind the troubles of their homelands. Many die along the way, some are sent back to face imprisonment and possible death, some survive and make it here, to a country which offers them the chance of a life of freedom and opportunity. One boy's experience is the central story of our times. This memoir celebrates the triumph of courage and determination over adversity.
An extraordinary man - achieving against all odds. Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
7pm Headingley Library, North Lane
Wednesday 8 March
I Am Alive (I Guess)
Poetry and music about the short walk from light to the edge of darkness - and back. Schwa is Peter Spafford on piano/vocals and Richard Ormrod on at least nine instruments, joined by singer Jacqui Wicks. Here they set to music poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, and Edna St.Vincent Millais, besprinkled with original text by Peter Spafford.
Schwa's 'Threshold' was premiered at Headingley Litfest in 2015 and is touring this spring for the second time, funded by The Arts Council.
Playful, but not frivolous. Intricately constructed songs that manage to constantly surprise, whilst sounding like I'd always known them. It was genuinely exciting to witness the music being played and was a stand-out moment of the year. I bought the album and have played it endlessly since. It's good to know that music can still bring new joy, even when I don't deserve it. Rob Reed, cultural blogger
Vivid lyricism and authentic vocals blended with fantastic eclectic arrangements. Testament
7.30pm Heart Centre, Bennett Road
Friday 10 March
Above Head Height
This book is a a must-have for anyone who has ever played and enjoyed amateur football. James Brown has been playing football since growing up in Headingley, attending Bennett Road School and playing football in the streets, woods and gardens around Estcourt Avenue. The sudden death of one of his long-standing team mates made James ponder the unique bond between men who meet each other once a week for years, but don't know any personal details beyond pitch prowess.
Five-a-Side football is where you play the beautiful game for love, not money. You play it for life and you play it everywhere. Your kit is damp and your legs are a leopard's back of bruises. Shirts are often tight around the belly, with your hero's name plastered across your shoulder blades. The showers are too cold in winter and too hot in summer. Your used sports bag stays unpacked in the hall, and your water bottles are under the kitchen sink. The post-match warm down takes place in the pub. As does the match analysis. By contrast the warm up is non-existent. Your performance is patchy and maybe not what it used to be. But we all still think we played great.
Five-a-Side is sporting Karaoke - a time and place to live out our dreams. This is a book for all of us - school mates, work colleagues, total strangers - bonded by the desire to blast one into the net from two feet away.
James Brown invented and edited Loaded magazine, next he edited GQ, then started his own publishing business. At the moment he runs a very successful web publishing magazine (Sabotage Times) and is a frequent contributor to television programmes and the broadsheets. Not to mention having two radio programmes: one on music, one on football.
He will be in conversation with Dave Simpson from The Guardian.
7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
Saturday 11 March
Trio Literati: The Exceedingly Good Writings of Mr Kipling
A sparkling words-and-music entertainment on the works of Rudyard Kipling. As a highly successful journalist Kipling travelled widely across a world on the brink of change. He wrote compulsively all his life: 'my pen took charge and I, greatly admiring, watched it write for me far into the nights.' Well-loved stories and poems such as The Jungle Book, The Man Who Would Be King and On the Road to Mandalay are a mere fraction of his output - his war reports, playlets and science fiction - now virtually forgotten - are just as colourful. Prepare to be surprised!
Musical duo Eleanor Rastall (soprano) and Jonathan Drummond (piano) add to the heady mix with settings of Kipling's own poems and popular songs from the Empire and beyond.
Maggie Mash, Jane Oakshott and Richard Rastall gave their first performance as Trio Literati in November 2003. Set up to do simple poetry readings, the group quickly started on the enchanting and slippery slope of hats and sound effects. They now offer a wide range of performance options, from pure poetry to full-scale dramatic works, often commissioned and scripted to fit a special occasion or place.
As performers, their backgrounds are varied - television, theatre, music - but they share a passion for words and a taste for comedy. Producing many very different shows since 2003, they have gained a reputation for energy, wit and style.
|7.30 pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road|
Monday 13 March
Partnership event with Café Scientifique
Strange Encounters: Paranoia and British Science Fiction Cinema
Robert Shail will explain, in an illustrated talk, how Science Fiction, whether in literature or cinema, has often been used as a vehicle to express contemporary anxieties. Alien encounters, rogue technology and dystopian futures are often projections of real fears about our current predicaments. This was never more the case than in the 1950s and 1960s when a cycle of American science fiction films including Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Them! (1954) gave voice to Cold War anxieties and the threat of nuclear catastrophe.
These films are well known but Professor Shail's talk will focus on the more neglected area of British science fiction cinema of the same period. Key films include the John Wyndham adaptations Village of the Damned (1960) and The Day of the Triffids (1962), and the recently revived The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). These films bring a peculiarly British quality to the genre, with strange encounters taking place against the backdrop of sleepy villages and cosy suburbs.
Robert Shail is Professor of Film and Director of Research in the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University. He has published widely on postwar British cinema and his latest book is The Children's Film Foundation: History and Legacy (Palgrave/British Film Institute).
7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
Tickets £3 only on the door
Tuesday 14 March
Partnership event with Films at HEART
The film stars Antti Litja as Mielensäpahoittaja a.k.a. the Grump, Petra Frey, Mari Perankoski, and Iikka Forss. The film tells the story about a stubbornly traditional eighty-year-old farmer — whose social attitudes verge on the prehistoric — raises hell when he is forced to move in with his miserable, city-dwelling son and successful daughter-in-law.
8 pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
£6/£5 concessions/£4 members
Tickets only on the door
Wednesday 15 March
A Yorkshire Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of a Sporting Powerhouse.
|1972: Billy Bremner with Leeds United after winning the FA Cup|
Anthony Clavane will read from his recently-launched book and will be in conversation with Tony Collins, Professor of Sports History at De Montfort University, whose latest book The Oval World (featured in last year's LitFest) won the 2016 Aberdare Prize for sports history book of the year.
For some people, writes Anthony Clavane, Old Yorkshire “stood for a pre-80s, prelapsarian idyll; to others an anachronistic, almost vaudevillian version of the class struggle. The truth is, as always, somewhere in between.” Coming down on the side of the idyll, he argues that something has been missing from British sport. It has lost its heart and soul - its Yorkshireness - which possibly amounts to the same thing.
A Yorkshire Tragedy is the final part of Anthony Clavane's triptych that examines belonging, identity and the rise and fall of tightly knit sporting communities through the prism of the author's own personal experience.
If you want to know how it feels to be left behind, if you want to know how it feels to be forgotten, if you want to know how it feels to be heartbroken, then read this book' David Peace
7.15pm Headingley Library, North Lane
Thursday 16 March
Streets of Darkness
Amit Dhand is a pharmacist who works in Headingley. He is also now known as an accomplished crime writer. This is his first Detective Harry Virdee novel, and it has been described as 'Luther meets The Wire'.
The sky over Bradford is heavy with foreboding. It always is. But this morning it has reason to be - this morning a body has been found. And it's not just any body. Detective Harry Virdee should be at home with his wife. Impending fatherhood should be all he can think about but he's been suspended from work just as the biggest case of the year lands on what would have been his desk. He can't keep himself away.
Determined to restore his reputation, Harry is obliged to take to the shadows in search of notorious ex-convict and prime suspect, Lucas Dwight. But as the motivations of the murder threaten to tip an already unstable city into riotous anarchy, Harry finds his preconceptions turned on their head as he discovers what it's like to be on the other side of the law...
Amit will read from his work and will be in conversation with poet James Nash.
* selected for WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2017
* selected for Read Regional 2017
* selected by Phil Williams @BBCradio5live in his top3 books of the year?
* TV rights sold
7.15pm Headingley Library, North Lane
Friday 17 March
There’s no age limit for the audience. Get in touch now to make sure you are on the list if you want to perform.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with all the details.
7.30pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
Under 18s free, adults £5
Under 18s free, adults £5
Ever wondered whether that idea you have for a novel , or a poetry or short story collection could fly?
Would you like the chance to pitch to a team of publishing industry professionals?
You’ve seen Dragons’ Den, so now Headingley Litfest invites you to pitch your ideas 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(s) will be invited to submit a synopsis and sample of their work for consideration by either Valley Press based in Scarborough , or Hebden Bridge based 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
Jamie McGarry – Valley Press
Alison Taft - Novelist and Editor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy
4.00 - 6.00pm New Headingley Club St Michael’s Road
Places to pitch are limited. For further details and to apply to pitch please email LitFestpitchnpen@gmail.com
£5 to pitch £2 to attend
Bluemoose Books is an independent publisher based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Kevin and Hetha Duffy started Bluemoose in 2006 and as a ‘family’ of readers and writers their aim is to publish cracking stories that engage and inspire.
Valley Press is an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK. Established in 2008, their mission is to bring the best new poetry, fiction and non-fiction to bookshelves and e-readers around the world.
Yorkshire Anthology, Tainted Love and East Coast Story
Valley Press and Bluemoose Books present an evening double bill
Poetry Book launch
Valley Press launch their long-awaited Yorkshire Anthology, for which poets around the world were asked to write on any subject or topic, while keeping some connection with the county of Yorkshire, perhaps creating the most eclectic book about Yorkshire ever pieced together. There will be readings from contributors and discussion with the editors, including Jamie McGarry.
Tainted Love and East Coast Story by Anna Chilvers
Anna will be talking about her latest novel Tainted Love and about her work in progress East Coast Story. Tainted Love (published by Bluemoose Books) is a modern gothic tale of how old stories can unravel people's lives. Secrets and stones have settled in Hawden where everything stays as it is; the past is hidden, or rewritten. Lauren lives with her dad and Mr Lion after her mother left her when she was three months old. Her boyfriend Peter is struggling with his identity. When Meg and her son Richard arrive, both dangerously attractive, and Ali too, angry and on the run from drug dealers, old stories resurface, creating new tensions. After seventeen years Lauren's mother comes back into her life and nothing is quite what it seems any more but love however tainted can sometimes heal.
East Coast Story : novel in progress
In 657AD St. Etheldreda, a princess of Anglia and Queen of Northumbria, fled from St Abbs in Scotland to Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, a journey of around five hundred miles. In 2015, funded by the Arts Council, Anna followed in her footsteps and walked the same distance in five stages, as inspirational research for her novel.
Anna is a writer, a poet, a runner, a long distance walker, a mother, a teacher and a reader. Her first novel, Falling Through Clouds, was published by Bluemoose in 2010. She has also published a collection of short stories, Legging It (Pennine Prospects, 2012) and her play, The Room was performed in the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2013. She lives in Hebden Bridge with her family and her dog, Bet, and two cats.
7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
Sunday 19 March
Partnership event with Irish Arts Foundation and Hyde Park Picture House
The Butcher Boy
Ireland,1962. In a remote village, 12-year-old Francie Brady escapes his alcoholic father, Benny and mentally unstable mother, Annie, by retreating into a haze of daydreams, relying on his 'blood brother' Joe as his sole link to the outside world.
Adapted from Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel of the same name The Butcher Boy strikingly explores the world of a young boy existing in the margins of society, dancing along the edge of the real and unreal, torn into dangerous territory by anger and a desire for revenge.
Directed by Neil Jordan, Produced by Redmond Morris and Stephen Woolley. Screenplay by Patrick McCabe and Neil Jordan. The film won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.
3.30pm Hyde Park Picture House
Tickets £7.00/£5.50 concessions from http://www.
Tuesday 21 March
Partnership event with local creative writing groups
Once again we are delighted to welcome two local groups of creative writers – from Headingley and from the Osmondthorpe Hub – to take the plunge and share their work with us. Dark tales? Wry poems? A drama? Short stories with a twist? Or just an entertaining excerpt from life writing? An eclectic selection of pieces to fascinate, amuse or arouse your curiosity.
11am - 1pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
Free - donations invited for refreshments
Wednesday 22 March
Partnership event with Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART)
Do you know your Dickens from your Dostoevsky or your Angela Carter from your Raymond Carver? Then come along and test your knowledge of all things relating to books. HEART Centre Manager Mike will be the Quizmaster par excellence. Be prepared for his demon picture rounds! There will also be a raffle. What’s not to like?
8pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
£1 per person - max of 5 in team - pay at the event
All proceeds to ‘Support HEART’
Friday 24 March
Partnership event with Word Club
Mark Connors at The Chemic
Join Mark Connors and friends for a Word Club Special at The Chemic Tavern. Mark will be launching his first full length poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, published by Stairwell Books. Open mic slots will be available. Mark Connors is a widely published poet who won the Ilkley Literature Festival Open Mic Competition in both 2014 and 2015. His debut pamphlet, Life is a Long Song (OWF Press, 2015) and debut novel, Stickleback (Armley Press, 2016) are both now in their second editions. Mark runs Word Club and performs and comperes regularly at literature festivals.
7.30pm The Chemic Tavern, 9 Johnston St, Leeds LS6 2NG
Saturday 25 March
In conversation with Amanda Owen
Amanda Owen (41 years old) has been seen by millions on ITV’s The Dales and in Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild and is currently appearing on ITV1’s Countrywise. She runs a two thousand acre hill farm in Swaledale in North Yorkshire, fifty miles from the nearest large town. She is a full time shepherdess tending a thousand sheep and has nine children with farmer husband Clive. Her life is dominated by the seasons, feeding, clipping, dipping, herding, rescuing and lambing her flock in one of the most remotely beautiful yet tough spots in the country.
Amanda is a working mother with nine children between the ages of 4 months and 16 years and amazingly has never taken maternity leave. As soon as she returns from hospital Amanda simply straps her new born onto her front in a waterproof onesie and heads back out to the hills to tend her sheep, with two toddlers trailing behind. Each of her nine children has been brought up this way, outside in the fresh air all day without many of the trappings of modern parenthood, waking and sleeping with the rhythm of the farm.
In A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess the reader joins Amanda as she describes the age-old cycles of a farming year and the constant challenges the family faces: from being cut off in winter to tending their flock on some of the country’s highest, wildest moors - land so inaccessible that in places it can only be reached on foot.
Writing with her trademark warmth and humour, Amanda tells us how her nine-year-old son Miles got his first flock, Reuben took up the flugelhorn and she herself gave birth to a new baby girl. She shares the touching stories of an epic two-day journey taken by a ewe determined to find her lamb and of Queenie, an ageing and neglected horse who comes to live at the farm. Meanwhile, her husband Clive is almost arrested on a midnight stakeout to catch a sheep-worrying dog and becomes the object of affection for a randy young bull.
Amanda will read from her book and will be in conversation.
2.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
£8 Tea and cakes available.
Sunday 26 March
On the edge of the stage with Dave Robertson
David has been a stalwart of the LitFest since its inception in 2008, when he played Arthur Ransome in Stuart Fortey's Duffers and Captain Speedy in Peter Spafford's I was a Stranger in a double bill called Cast Adrift. In subsequent years, he was Shakespeare in Paul Priest's Sonnets; in Heading Home he was Frank, the bookseller in 84, Charing Cross Road, Herbert Read in the autobiographical, mystical Moon's Farm and, a year later, Lord Caversham in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. The following year he played Peter in Edward Albee's The Zoo Story and a wealth of Welsh characters in Under Milk Wood.
In 2013 he directed Straight from the Heart, Stuart Fortey's play commissioned for Trio Literati, and also Literary Lovers, with two of the Trio playing Ellen Terry and Mrs Patrick Campbell, and David as the twice-smitten Shaw. 2014 brought on Echoes of War, portraying doomed poets Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas, with David directing Fortey's On Scarborough Front and Spafford's The Edge of the Forest. And so on to Back-to-Back Beckett with David solo-performing From an Abandoned Work and Krapp's Last Tape.
Ducking out of 2016, David makes up for it this year with a stash of theatrical retrospections, blunders best forgotten and assorted favourite speeches from Irish chicanery to Ionesco, Shakespeare, Pinter and beyond. The wonderful Retrolettes will be helping out on the lighter side.
8pm New Headingley Club, St Michael's Road
Wednesday 17 May
Partnership event with Leeds Decorative & Fine Arts Society
Faber and Faber - Its Designs and History
|A 1928 cover|
The speaker has written two works of narrative history, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US, and given lectures associated with these two subjects at venues including The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bath Theatre, The Library of Congress and the Huntington Library, as well as a number of literary festivals. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. Is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music, a trustee of Yale University Press (UK) and a director of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society.
The lecture starts at 2pm but you are asked to arrive a little earlier and be in your seat by 1.50. Sandwiches and tea / coffee £4 - £5.00 can be purchased if required - available from 12.30 pm.
Free - - places are limited and will be available on a first come first served basis.To book please email email@example.com quoting 'LitFest free place''
Castle Grove Masonic Hall
Castle Grove Drive
Leeds LS6 4BP
Our Community Programme
Headingley LitFest is indebted once again to have the support of the local councillors and others on the Inner and Outer North West Leeds area management committees to fund their work with a wide range of local schools. Our local councillors have been consistent supporters of the interventions we make in the schools in our 'patch'.
The grants support the work with primary and secondary school groups to develop confidence in writing and presentation through poetry, spoken word and short stories. Each young poet gets to perform their work and some have their original work included in a book or e-book as a further legacy of their work. Our work in schools starts in the late autumn and runs through the winter to early spring, so it is a large commitment from our volunteers and our poets. However, we are all passionate that developing original writing, using poetry as a genre, encourages a love of words, a curiosity about poetry and literature and an increased self-confidence in both writing and performing.
This year we have commissioned work with professional poets Malika Booker, Khadijah Ibrahim, James Nash and Rommi Smith. Schools in our 2016/17 programme have been: Brudenell, Quarry Mount, Shire Oak, Spring Bank and Weetwood. We have still to complete work with St Chad's. We have also worked with Leeds City Academy and Ralph Thoresby and are working now with Lawnswood.
We are also working once again with the disabled writers from the Osmondthorpe Hub, in partnership with some of the Headingley creative writers, both WEA groups and we are delighted that the WEA is sponsoring the event this year.