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Birmingham Literature Festival 2014

Home > Birmingham > Books and Writing | Festivals | Libraries | Literary
by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
From scandi-crime to Peaky Blinders
Authors, poets, Scandanavian crime writers and Booker Prize nominees are all part of the thrilling line-up for the 2014 Birmingham Literature Festival.

Birmingham Literature Festival3
Danish Noir sees Scandanavian crime authors talk about the popular genre


Book lovers have 10 days of events to choose from in the festival from October 2 - 11, which is based around Birmingham's brand new state-of-the-art library.

Highlights of Birmingham Literature Festival include Birmingham writer and comedian Meera Syal interviewing Wolverhampton-born author Sathnam Sanghera, who wrote the acclaimed The Boy With The Top Knot, about his new novel.

Steven Knight, the screen writer and director behind popular BBC2 TV show Peaky Blinders, will speak about bringing to life the pre-First World War gangsters that controlled Birmingham.

Scandi-crime is all the rage at the moment and the Danish Noir event will look at the Brits attraction to such macabre stories with three Scandanavian authors - Dagma Winther (one half of pen name Sander Jakobsen); Elsebeth Egholm, who created the TV series Those Who Kill; and Lene Kaaberbols, author of the internationally successful Nina Borg crime fiction series.

Birmingham Literature Festival, Steven Knight, Peaky Blinders
Steven Knight and Peaky Blinders are a highlight of Birmingham Literature Festival


Agatha Christie fans will also be interested in the event with writer Sophie Hannah, whose new book The Monogram Murders sees a return of Hercule Poirot - with authorisation from the Agatha Christie estate.

Actress Dame Janet Suzman speaks about her life growing up in South Africa and the politics of that country as well as her latest play, Soloman & Marion, which she performs in at Birmingham Rep from October 16 to November 1. The event sees her in conversation with the theatre director and writer Ola Animashawun.

Birmingham Literature Festival1
Dame Janet Suzman speaks about her theatre work and life in South Africa


Run by Writing West Midlands, the Festival has been held for the past 15 years.

The full programme is:

THURSDAY 2 OCTOBER
Birmingham Poet Laureate 2014/15 Announcement Event
6 – 7pm, Café Mezz, Library of Birmingham

Jackie Kay: Poems for National Poetry Day
7.30 – 8.45pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Birmingham Literature Festival2
The festival includes poetry by Jackie Kay


FRIDAY 3 OCTOBER
Wake up Happy with Stephen May
6 – 7pm, The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Dylan Thomas and Me: Hannah Ellis, Guy Masterson & Sian Lloyd
6 – 7pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Fern Hill & Other Pieces by Dylan Thomas
7.30 – 9pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Voices in Fiction
7.30 – 8.45pm, The Door, Library of Birmingham

Little Earthquake presents: The Story of a Disappearance & Appearance
8 – 8.30pm, Discovery Terrace, Library of Birmingham

SATURDAY 4 OCTOBER
Workshop: Writing Comedy with Stephen May
10am – 12pm, Book Box, Library of Birmingham

Writers Without Borders: On Film
Throughout the day, Library of Birmingham

Poetry Afloat with Jo Bell
10am – 12pm, Aboard the narrowboat Frederick

Romeo & Juliet Flash Performances
1 – 2pm, around the Library of Birmingham

Letters to the Midwife
2 – 3.15pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Writing Motherhood
3.30 – 4.30pm, The Door, Library of Birmingham

Louise Doughty: Apple Tree Yard
4.45 – 5.45pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Nathan Filer & Paul Wilson
6.15 – 7.30pm, The Door, Library of Birmingham

Roger McGough and Liz Berry: Poetry in Performance
8 – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

SUNDAY 5 OCTOBER
Emergency Poet
11am – 4pm – outside the Library of Birmingham

Writers Without Borders: On Film
Throughout the day, Library of Birmingham

BBC Radio 4′s Poetry Please with Roger McGough
2 – 3.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

BBC Radio 4′s With Great Pleasure with Jonathan Coe
4 – 5pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Rich McMahon
5.15 – 6pm – playing in the Birmingham REP's bar

Tell Me On A Sunday: The Greatest Hits
6 – 8pm, The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

MONDAY 6 OCTOBER
Steven Knight: Writing Peaky Blinders
6 – 7.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Dame Janet Suzman: In Conversation
8 – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

TUESDAY 7 OCTOBER
Last Act: Dance & Poetry Workshop
5.30 – 6.30pm, Book Box, Library of Birmingham

Danish Noir
6 – 7.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Last Act: Dance & Poetry Performance
7 – 7.15pm, Foyer, Library of Birmingham

A Midlands Odyssey with Natalie Haynes
8 – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

WEDNESDAY 8 OCTOBER
Raven: Comic Book Commission Q&A session
6 – 6.30pm, Foyer, Library of Birmingham

Writing from the Home Front
5.30 – 6.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

The 2014 Man Booker Prize Shortlist Event
7.30 – 9pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

The Urban Sermon: Owen Jones
7.30 – 9pm, Birmingham Cathedral

THURSDAY 9 OCTOBER
Malorie Blackman
4 – 5.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Writing in the Wild: Tim Dee, Andrew Fusak Peters and Jean Sprackland
6 – 7.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Little Earthquake presents: The Story of a Disappearance & Appearance
8 – 8.30pm, Discovery Terrace, Library of Birmingham

Chaucer Night: Lavinia Greenlaw & Patience Agbabi
8 – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre, library of Birmingham

FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER
The Boat that Rocked
6 – 8pm, Aboard the narrowboat Frederick

Soap City
6 – 7pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Helen Dunmore: The Lie
7.30 – 9pm, Studio Theatre

SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER
Workshop: Writing from Life with Tiffany Murray
10am – 12pm, Events Room, Ikon Gallery

Writers Without Borders: On Film
Throughout the day, Library of Birmingham

Voices of the First World War – Creative Writing Workshop with Fiona Joseph
10.30am – 12.30pm, Heritage Learning Space, Library of Birmingham

The Writer's Dance: A Readers' Afternoon
1 – 4pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Voices of the First World War – Poetry Writing Workshop with Garrie Fletcher & Antony Owen
1.30 – 3.30pm, Heritage Learning Space, Library of Birmingham

Short Fiction Open Mic with Rachel New
2 – 3pm, Book Rotunda, Library of Birmingham

Naked Lungs presents: Urban Nature
4 – 4.30pm, Foyer, Library of Birmingham

Sophie Hannah: The Monogram Murders
6 – 7.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Meera Syal in conversation with Sathnam Sanghera
8 – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham

Birmingham Literary Festival
Library of Birmingham and nearby venues
Broad Street, Birmingham City Centre
Prices vary - see the Festival website for further information.
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Why? Fuel your love for books and poetry with top writers
When: October 2 - 11
Where: Library of Birmingham
Cost: Various. Average £8 a ticket.
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