Renowned philosopher AC Grayling and one of the world’s leading ceramic artists Edmund de Waal will be appearing at the 2011 Spring Literary Festival at the University of East Anglia.
Above: AC Grayling, credit Christina Panagi.
Hosted by the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts, the festival starts on February 8 with award-winning poet David Harsent, followed on February 22 by author Andrea Levy, whose bestselling novel Small Island, a story of Jamaicans and Londoners caught up in World War Two, was adapted for television by the BBC. Small Island also won both the Orange and Whitbread Prizes, while Levy’s new book was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. Edmund de Waal and poet Jo Shapcott have been shortlisted for this year’s Costa Book Awards, in the biography and poetry categories.
Festival director Prof Lavinia Greenlaw said: “We are delighted to present such a diverse and eminent line-up, and hope that both our regular audience and newcomers will enjoy this exciting programme of events."
Tuesday February 8: DAVID HARSENT (hosted by George Szirtes)
The poet David Harsent will be reading from his new collection Night. His last book, Legion, won the Forward Prize for best collection 2005 and was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Award and the T S Eliot Prize.
Tuesday February 22: ANDREA LEVY (hosted by Lavinia Greenlaw)
Andrea Levy won the Whitbread and Orange Prizes for her bestselling novel, Small Island, which explored the wartime experiences of black Britons. Her latest book, The Long Song, is set in the last days of slavery in Jamaica.
Tuesday March 8: ALICE OSWALD (hosted by George Szirtes)
Alice Oswald’s collections include Dart, which won the T S Eliot Prize in 2002, and Woods etc. Her recent work includes A Sleepwalk on the Severn and Weeds and Wild Flowers, a collaboration with the artist Jessica Greenman.
Tuesday March 29: SADIE JONES (hosted by Andrew Cowan)
Sadie Jones’s first novel, The Outcast, won the Costa First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the 2008 Orange Prize. Her second, Small Wars, is an emotionally charged portrait of a man, and his marriage, in crisis.
Wednesday April 6: AC GRAYLING (hosted by Lavinia Greenlaw)
The philosopher AC Grayling’s new work, The Good Book, is “a thoughtful, non-religious alternative to the many people who do not follow one of the world’s great religions.” Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. AC Grayling contributes widely to television, radio and the national press. His other books include Thinking of Answers: questions in the philosophy in everyday life and Ideas That Matter.
Tuesday May 10: EDMUND DE WAAL (hosted by Lavinia Greenlaw)
Edmund de Waal is a leading ceramicist whose work is represented in museums all over the world. He was apprenticed as a potter in Canterbury, studied in Japan and then read English at Cambridge. His acclaimed book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, has been shortlisted for this year’s Costa Biography Award.
Tuesday May 24: JO SHAPCOTT (hosted by George Szirtes)
The poet Jo Shapcott’s most recent collection, Of Mutability, has been shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Poetry Award and the Forward Prize. She has won the National Poetry Competition twice and many other awards, and teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Tuesday June 7: ALI SMITH (hosted by Andrew Cowan)
Ali Smith’s forthcoming novel, There but for the, starts with a stranger who comes to dinner and refuses to leave. Ali Smith uses her acclaimed intelligence, invention and wit to explore what it means to live with other people. Her other novels and short stories include Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories and The Accidental. She has been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
All events take place at 7pm in Lecture Theatre 1, University of East Anglia, Norwich. Season tickets priced £42 (£36 students and concessions), Poetry Passports (valid for David Harsent, Alice Oswald and Jo Shapcott) priced £12 (no concessions), and individual tickets priced £6 (no concessions), are available from the UEA Box Office on 01603 508050, or online at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/events/
For more information visit: www.uea.ac.uk/litfest