Thursday, 17 July 2008

Have we got news for you!

Richard Wilcocks writes:

A packed out, slightly steamy Café Lento last night heard most of the details of the line-up for the LitFest 'proper' in March 2009 - but you, dear readers, must be a little tantalised. This is because we are saving our official news releases until after the summer, probably at around the time when Celebrate Headingley will be in full swing, in September.

This is when citizens listen to music, eat and drink in the open air outside the New Headingley Club and tap dance on table tops. It's a good time to talk about the events in store for them in the following spring. For now, let it be known that there will be a link with Leeds Rugby, that Bob Barnard will be returning to talk about crime fiction, that there will be something for very young children and that another Poetry Slam will take place. In addition, there will be big names - very big names.........

The Big Summer short story evening at the Lento went extremely well, I thought, judging from audience comments, but then I am biased because I was one of the contributors. Ted Marriott delivered an enthrallingly spooky story about a man who became a nobody, mine involved a tourist from Whitby who listened to vampire stories in Croatia and Doug Sandle read a story set on the Isle of Man from a published anthology. John Jones spoke to us from a tape - really interesting reminiscences from his autobiography - we travelled from London to Buenos Aires to Leeds.

Richard Lindley, the owner, a natural compere, made sure everything went smoothly and that all wheels were lubricated. He reckons he'll do it all again soon - that is before and during the LitFest proper. Improper too, maybe.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Rory McTurk

Headingley resident Rory McTurk has agreed to speak at the next Headingley LitFest in March 2009. He is Emeritus Professor of Icelandic Studies at Leeds University and a recent recipient (2007) of the Order of the Falcon (Hin íslenska fálkaorða) which is awarded by the Icelandic government for outstanding achievement.

The focus of his talk will not be particularly academic, he says. The subject (and the exact date and venue) have yet to be fixed, but it might be something to do with the Vikings in Yorkshire – their stories, their poetry, literary shenanigans at the court of Erik Bloodaxe, something like that – or it might have something to do with the Sagas

We shall see, but be assured that a treat is in store for us: perhaps hawk-sharp observations on part of our local history, insights into the literature of a millennium ago or news of the scene in modern Reykyavik.....