From l-r: Bimini Bon Boulash (credit: Stoney Darkstone); Ed Miliband (Jenny Smith); Jyoti Patel (#MerkyBooks)
Organisers of UEA Live have today (Wednesday 11 August) announced a stellar line-up of writers and change-makers from the worlds of literature, media and politics, coming together this autumn to mark 30 years of the University’s flagship literary festival, with tickets now on sale.
The festival has been successfully run online for the past two seasons but is planning to return to in-person events in autumn.
UEA Live kicks off on Wednesday 6 October with New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff discussing her new novel Matrix, followed by locally born LGBTQIA+ icon and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2 breakout star, Bimini Bon Boulash, chatting gender nonconformity, fashion and their debut book Release the Beast: A Drag Queen’s Guide to Life.
Stormzy’s Penguin Random House imprint #Merky Books will be celebrated in their mission to uplift and invest in under-represented voices and new narratives, with UEA alum Jyoti Patel, winner of the 2021 #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, alongside Jade LB, author of Keisha the Sket – “a viral modern classic of Black British culture”, now in print 16 years after it was first serialised online.
Next up is Elizabeth Day – Sunday Times bestselling author, journalist, and host of the chart-topping podcast How To Fail With Elizabeth Day – in conversation with author and UEA Professor of Medical and Health Humanities, Christie Watson. Followed by acclaimed novelist Leone Ross, as she discusses her eclectic writing journey and This One Sky Day – her ‘labour of love’ third novel which was 15 years in the making.
Former Labour leader and author of Go Big: How To Fix Our World, Ed Miliband, will share his uplifting solutions for remaking society, and the programme will close with interdisciplinary artist, and co-founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, Malika Booker, discussing the collective’s upcoming anthology, Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different.
Festival Co-director KR Moorhead said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome back an in-real-life audience to UEA in a safe and managed way. During times of uncertainty, we often look to writing and stories to help us make sense of who we are and where we are going. Now in its 30th year, UEA Live is more committed than ever to bringing new and varied voices to our audience, in an effort to critically and creatively explore what writing is and what it can do in the world. We hope you’ll be as excited by our autumn programme as we are.”
The UEA Live: Autumn 2021 line-up in full is:
- Wednesday 6 October – New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff will discuss her new novel Matrix with UEA alum and author of The Shore, Sara Taylor.
- Wednesday 13 October – The gag-inducing, death-dropping, plant-based breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2, Bimini Bon Boulash, discusses their debut book Release the Beast: A Drag Queen’s Guide to Life.
- Wednesday 20 October – #Merky Books panel discussion with UEA alum Jyoti Patel, winner of the 2021 #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, and Jade LB, author of the underground internet sensation, Keisha the Sket.
- Wednesday 27 October – Sunday Times bestselling author, journalist, and podcaster Elizabeth Day, delves into her new suspense novel, Magpie, with author and UEA Professor Christie Watson.
- Wednesday 3 November – Acclaimed novelist and short story writer Leone Ross explores love, addiction and magic realism in her new novel, This One Sky Day.
- Wednesday 10 November – Former Labour leader Ed Miliband discusses the need for change in his new book Go Big: How To Fix Our World – from inequality and climate crisis to the challenge of housing, technology and democratic change.
- Wednesday 17 November – Interdisciplinary artist, and co-founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, Malika Booker, will discuss the collective’s upcoming anthology, Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different, with script-writer and poet Molly Naylor.
The festival runs from Wednesday 6 October to Wednesday 17 November, with tickets on sale now at £9 per ticket or £5 for students. Season tickets are available at £54 full price or £45 concessions for all 7 events, and book and ticket bundles are available in collaboration with Jarrold. To book, visit the UEA Live website.
All events will be live in-person at the UEA Lecture Theatre (unless government guidelines advise otherwise) from 7pm-8pm. There will also be author Q&As and the opportunity to buy signed copies of the authors’ books.
You can find more information at uealive.com.