We are at the heart of Essex Book Festival. The Festival’s inspiring director Ros Green is one of our graduates and is based in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies. Thanks to Ros’ vision, backed up the Festival’s amazing managing board, Essex Book Festival is pushing back the boundaries of what a book festival can do and also delivering a packed programme of events throughout March.
You’ll find University of Essex academics, graduates and current students closely involved in many events – talking about their work, reflecting on the creative process or offering their expertise. You’ll also find our Colchester Campus and Southend Campus hosting exciting events.
Here is a rundown of events involving the University during Week One of Essex Book Festival, but please remember there many, many other events taking place in March and you can see the full details on the website.
Wednesday 8 March, 7.00pm, Incarnation: Clare Pollard
Clare Pollard, Royal Literary Fellow at University of Essex, shares poems about our children and the stories we tell them. Fairytales and modern myths make appearances alongside biblical tales, exploring innocence and responsibility, asking what it means to bring new human beings into this world and how we shape them through our words. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/incarnation/
Friday 10 March, 7.30pm, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise: Brix Smith Start
The extraordinary story, in her own words, of Brix Smith Start. Best known for her work in The Fall at the time when they were perhaps the most powerful and influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world, Brix spent ten years in the band before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E Smith. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/brix-smith-start/
Wednesday 15 March, 7.00pm, Estuary: Out from London to the Sea, Rachel Lichtenstein
From the acclaimed author of Brick Lane and Rodinsky’s Room, Estuary is a thoughtful and intimate portrait of a profoundly British place: the Thames Estuary. With a clear eye and a sharp ear, Rachel Lichtenstein captures the essence of a community and an environment, examining how each has shaped and continues to shape the other. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/estuary/
Wednesday 15 March, 6.30pm, Refugees and Peacekeepers – A Patrician Press Anthology: Penny Simpson, Kathy Stevens, Anna Johnson and others
An evening to celebrate the result of a writing competition held in 2016, introduced by Patricia Borlenghi with readings by two of the prize-winners Penny Simpson and Kathy Stevens and others. In association with the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Essex. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/refugees-and-peacekeepers/
Thursday 16 March, 7.00pm, Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit: Philip Webster
Philip Webster wrote for The Times for 43 years, being at the centre of all the big stories of the past four decades. Who better to share with us exclusive insights into some of the biggest scoops and the many politicians, great and small, he has encountered. “One of the greatest political journalists of my lifetime” Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/inside-story/
Friday 17 March, 2.00pm, The Joyce Girl: Annabel Abbs
This St Patrick’s Day, we ask why was James Joyce’s daughter written out of history? In her debut novel The Joyce Girl, Annabel Abbs explores the little-known life of Lucia Joyce. Inspired by a true story, this is a compelling and moving account of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/the-joyce-girl/
Fri 17 March, 11.30am-1.00pm, How to write an internationally acclaimed novel in 10 steps: Annabel Abbs
Annabel Abbs, winner of the Impress Prize for New Writers, will show you how to write a successful novel in ten simple steps.
Her debut novel, The Joyce Girl, explores the little-known life of Lucia, daughter of James Joyce. Inspired by a true story, this is a compelling and moving account of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father. The Joyce Girl won the 2015 Impress Prize and was longlisted for the 2015 Bath Novel Award and the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award. Her short stories have been long and shortlisted for various awards, and she is now completing her second novel, based on the life of Frieda von Richthofen, wife and muse to D H Lawrence. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/annabel-abbs-workshop/
Saturday 18 March and Sunday 19 March, 10.30am-4.00pm, University of Essex Mini Book Festival
A brilliant place to celebrate children’s literature: family activities include storytelling with Grandma Sally and Auntie Angie, book making with artist Alison Stockmarr, story writing with the University’s Writing Society, drawing, bringing your stories to life with the Theatre Arts Society, and exclusive access to the University Library. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/mini-book-fest/
Saturday 18 March, 10.00am-3.00pm, Essex Authors’ Day
This exciting day of workshops, stalls and events brings together readers, writing groups, Essex based authors, publishers and organisations supporting writers, and anyone interested in writing or reading. Listen to readings of adult or children’s books, pick up top tips in mini workshops, take part in the writing challenge, meet other writers, or simply browse and buys books. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/essex-authors-day/
Wednesday 22 March, 7.00pm, Granta Magazine: Best of Young American Novelists, Ros Porter with A L Kennedy and Ben Markovits
Ros Porter, Deputy Editor of Granta Fiction, the UK’s leading periodical of new fiction, poetry, photography and essays, talks to two of its contributors - award-winning writer A L Kennedy and US author and essayist Ben Markovits - about the role of literary magazines, and today’s best young American novelists. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/granta-magazine/
Friday 24 March, 7.30pm, Discovering England: Adrian May & Face Furniture and the Extensions
In the songs and poems of his new book and CD, Adrian May takes a wry, left-wing look at the vexed questions of English identity, ranging from the comic to the poignant, where ‘Nobody hates the English as much as they hate themselves’. This launch includes a performance by Adrian with the band Face Furniture and the Extensions. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/discovering-england/
Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm, The Long and Winding Road: Alan Johnson
From the condemned slums of Southam Street in West London to the corridors of power in Westminster, Alan Johnson’s multi-award-winning autobiography charts an extraordinary journey. Volume Three tells of Alan’s early political skirmishes as a trade union leader, where his negotiating skills and charismatic style soon came to the notice of Tony Blair. A Sunday Times best-selling author. http://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/alan-johnson/
Wednesday 5 April to Friday 7 April, Essex Radical Writing Retreat
The Inaugural Radical Writing Retreat in partnership with the University of Essex and Radical Essex. Based at the Othona Centre in Bradwell-on-Sea.