The Big Bookend Programme 2015 – Mapping Leeds

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This year the Leeds Big Bookend Festival will become a living map of the city

What is Leeds? A place defined by its history, by the stories we recount and the events that have been played out on its streets? A place defined by its future, by new writers with visions of how our city should be shaped? A gateway to the world, a place where people from many different cultures live and work side by side? Perhaps it’s all three – and many other things too.

There are inner journeys to explore; the stories of addicts in recovery in the performance Drink with a Chimp or the poetry of Mirror Mirror on the Wall.

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Frances Brody

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Chris Nickson

There’s an A-Z of Leeds’ people and places, with Chris Nickson guiding us through the history of the city in short stories, Frances Brody telling of the Leeds Children’s Holiday Camp in Silverdale and Steve Ward entertaining us with tales from the Leeds circus.

 

 

There are literary rambles to take. AJ Kirby and Richard Smyth consider the topography of the Leeds writing scene, N.E. David asks if it’s necessary for a protagonist to go on a journey of transformation, Chris Tutton makes pathways between art and poetry, Jennifer Kavanagh describes the sights en route from being an agent to becoming an author, and Zodwa Nyoni speaks about road testing her new play, Boi Boi is Dead and going back on the road with Nine Lives.

Richard Smyth

Richard Smyth

AJ Kirby

AJ Kirby

Zodwa Nyoni

Zodwa Nyoni

 

From there we look outwards. Sunjeev Sahota discusses his latest book, The Year of the Runaways, the tale of thirteen young men who flee India to start a new life in Yorkshire, Max Farrar tackles the thorny subject of how we understand Islamism and terrorism, while Jemimah Steinfeld examines the sexual and cultural revolution taking place in China. Philippa Lester and Diane Saunders bring us back home to discover the stories of Jewish immigrants to the city, in their book From the Leylands to Leeds 17.

Sunjeev Sahota

Sunjeev Sahota

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Jemimah Steinfeld

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Philippa Lester and Diane Saunders

 

And, as if that wasn’t enough, we have workshops from SJ Bradley, the Index on Censorship Big Debate, evenings with Fictions of Every Kind and The Liars’ League, and if you fancy adding your own mark to the map, come and check out Stories from the Forests of Leeds, a yearlong project that imagines the city as a forest, creating a treasury of tales from that parallel universe.

So get your backpack ready, fill up your water bottle, make sure you’re wearing hardy shoes, and join us for a weekend of exploring the city we call home, Leeds. We’ll see you there!

Our children’s programme will take place in November so stay in touch with us.

Follow us on  Facebook/BigBookend and Twitter/BigBookend for all the latest information.

Download the programme – click here

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Fiona Gell

Fiona is a lifelong reading enthusiast and book lover. Her career started as a bookseller and has never really veered away from the written and spoken word. It was a dream for her to be a founder member of The Leeds Big Bookend. Fiona is its Coordinator and Marketing Director of the Northern Short Story Festival.

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