Monday, 30 January 2012

Let's share the LitFest programme

The programme is now well and truly fixed, and the giant Heidelbergs (they're printing machines) will soon be spitting out thousands of printed leaflets and brochures, for the whole lot and for the Ian McMillan event on 16 March.

Plenty of these will be handed to the locals at the Headingley Farmer's Market this Saturday 11 February, but we need you to help by taking wodges of leaflets and putting them in places where they will be appreciated. Ring our contact number now to offer help - 07789976854 - or email

If you haven't done so already, look at the programme's online version at

Becky Cherriman's preliminary event Love's Lingo, which takes place in the HEART café on Friday evening 10 February at 8pm, has now been blessed with the presence of terrific singer Maggie 8. You can hear her at 

You can also see and hear Becky on YouTube - just type her name in.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Jo Brandon's Phobia

Jo Brandon (New Shoots, last year's LitFest)writes:
Just wanted to send a quick message as I'm very excited to be launching my debut poetry pamphlet Phobia on Friday 20 January, 8pm at the Carriageworks in Leeds. It would be wonderful to see you there!

I'll also be reading as part the Valley Press Fest in Scarborough on Saturday 21 January from 2-4pm at the town library and earlier in the day there will be a signing at Taylor's very fine bookshop and tea rooms.

Both events are free.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Ian McMillan on Yorkshire Accents

Thanks, Iggie, for drawing attention to this YouTube piece in which Stephen Fry talks to poet Ian McMillan about the richness and variety of accents here in Yorkshire.

Ian McMillan, yes the man himself in all his richness and variety, will be coming to the LitFest on Friday 16 March. The event will be in the Left Bank Centre on Cardigan Road at 7.30pm, tickets £10. All the details soon! Put it in your diary.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Love's Lingo

 In honour of Valentine's Day, commissioned and published writer Becky Cherriman will take you on a poetic journey through the vast lexicon of love. This will take place in the HEART Café at 8pm on Friday 10 February as a preliminary event for the LitFest 'proper' in mid-March.

But don't expect it all to be hearts and flowers! Becky's work is known for its honest and often uncomfortable intensity.  The evening will also feature live music from Maggie 8  ( and a reading from poet, Clare Neruda.

Tickets on the door will be just six pounds - and that includes a drink. 

Becky is a writer, creative writing facilitator and performer based in Leeds.  She works regularly for the Workers Educational Association, The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Artlink West Yorkshire and Ilkley Literature Festival, develops writing-related resources for The Hepworth Wakefield and delivers public readings of her work.   

Successes to date include being shortlisted for the 2009 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Award, the 2009-10 Fish Short Story Prize, and the 2011 Grist Poetry Competition, a commission to write and perform an interactive children’s story at The Rotunda Museum in Scarborough on the theme of geology, publication in an anthology ‘Along The Iron Veins’ and attaining second prize in the 2010 Ilkley Literature Festival Open Mic competition.  Her poems ‘Behind His Eye’ and ‘Every Bone’ will be published in the 2012 ‘Grist Anthology’. 

Here is a poem about the HEART Centre written by one of Becky's students:

The Heart Centre

New rooms wrapped round an old beating heart
Wall adorned with new, vibrant art.

Drums in the stairwell with Hettie the Cleaner
Pot plants abound to make it look neater

Guitar, pilates or trumpet lessons
Everything covered in weekly sessions

From young to old and those on the dole
With Heart in the Community, this place has a soul

Angela Lloyd Roberts


Finalising meetings are taking place, possibly while you are reading this! Nearly all the pieces have been fitted into the jigsaw.

The printed programme should be available in about a fortnight. Get in touch if you want to help with distributing it. It will certainly be on tables in the Heart Café during Becky Cherriman's evening on 10 February - see LOVE'S LINGO.