Tag Archives: Marlborough Literature Festival

Award winners Matt Greene and Mave Fellowes at Marlborough Literature Festival

29 Sep

I don’t know how anyone else chooses literature festival events to attend but I go to find out new authors, not necessarily to sit there starry-eyed over writers I already like.

Mave Fellows and Matt Greene are two new writers who’ve had the heady experience of winning a literary award.

Being eighty per cent through my own novel (it’s taken me about three years to get there), I was also interested in their experience of being a novice author. Continue reading

The upside of corruption: Renaissance writer Sarah Dunant at Marlborough Literature Festival

29 Sep
Sarah Dunant at Marlborough Literature Festival 2014

Sarah Dunant

All the events I’ve been to at Marlborough Literature Festival this year have sparkled, and yesterday Sarah Dunant, Renaissance fiction writer, was no exception.

With enthusiastic continental-style gesticulating, Sarah imbued her talk with as many interesting metaphors as in her books.

And to give AC Grayling from Saturday a run for his money, she did it all without a seeming reference to any notes.

Sarah’s foray into Renaissance fiction came after a midlife crisis in Florence. “If you are going to have a psychological breakdown,” she said, “do it in a good city.” Continue reading

What happened to the cat? Lynne Truss at the Marlborough Festival of Literature

28 Sep
Lynne Truss at Marlborough Literature Festival

Lynne Truss at Marlborough Literature Festival

“A thing of mine is to fall in love with one of my characters,” Lynne Truss divulges. “In Eats, Shoots and Leaves it was a colon.”

I’m hoping my grammar is all present and correct in this piece. I am a student of the eighties, after all, when sentence structure and spelling weren’t paid any attention.

But the book of grammar pedantry that made her a best seller wasn’t the main topic of conversation. Lynne loves writing for actors: “It’s my favourite thing.” She finds it hard to describe her latest novel (and the first one in fifteen years) so instead reads us a monologue, The Wife, she wrote for Radio Four, broadcast back in 2007. Continue reading

Jenny Uglow on pre-Victorian pioneer Sarah Losh, Marlborough Festival of Literature

27 Sep

In a little corner in Cumbria, a nineteenth century church stands testament to the vision of one of the UK’s first woman architects, Sarah Losh.

With virtually none of the usual Christian iconography, it is instead decorated with much older symbols of fertility and is inspired by the burgeoning pre-Victorian interest in geology and palaeontology.

The story of Sarah Losh, The Pinecone, is not only of an incredible women who became an architect about two hundred years before feminism, but also of family, history and giving others a chance. Continue reading

Zena Edwards – Marlborough Lit Fest

25 Sep
Zena Edwards

Zena Edwards

A night out with poet Zena Edwards is like having a really good guest to dinner, without the food.

The Ellis Theatre at Marlborough College, for the first event of the Marlborough Literature Festival, has the look of a school hall-cum-theatre but the intimacy of Zena’s voice and her warm demeanor made it feel like a jazz club or cabaret bar.

I must admit I got a bit of a girl crush on her voice; it was born to read poetry and sing poetry. She made words like ‘rock’ seem firm not hard and ‘ocean’ like a rolling calmness.

Zena tells us she falls in and out of love everyday; she cries, she laughs and then plucks something from it to write about. Continue reading

Carol Ann Duffy, Marlborough Literature festival

30 Sep
Carol Ann Duffy by Ben Phillips

Carol Ann Duffy by Ben Phillips

So, that Carol Ann Duffy.

Poet Laureate for a few years (no it’s not Andrew Motion anymore. Or John Betjemen). Looks like a Serious Proper poet in the photos. In real life (and in her poetry) a wry humour and, although her words can be ‘deep’, she quite enjoys a frivolous heckle.

Her event was the finale of the fourth Marlborough Lit Fest last night, as she performed with John A Sampson – a musician who shares that wry humour with a huge streak of silliness. Continue reading