Literary talent on show in festival

PUBLISHED: 09:19 31 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:40 31 May 2010

Local writers Jojo Moyes (left) and Clare Mulley will be part of the festival    Pictures: SUBMITTED

Local writers Jojo Moyes (left) and Clare Mulley will be part of the festival Pictures: SUBMITTED

GLOBALLY acclaimed Rasta poet Benjamin Zephaniah heads the line-up for the Words around the World literature festival in Saffron Walden. Harts Events, based in the town, will be running the annual event from February 26 to March 27. Festival organiser, Ju

GLOBALLY acclaimed Rasta poet Benjamin Zephaniah heads the line-up for the Words around the World literature festival in Saffron Walden.

Harts Events, based in the town, will be running the annual event from February 26 to March 27.

Festival organiser, Julia Carmichael, said: "Despite the credit crunch, we're going ahead with our festival because we're so excited about the speakers we have invited.

"We are keeping our ticket prices affordable - much cheaper for people than travelling to London or Cambridge - and we've spread the events out over a month to give our audiences the best chance of coming to enjoy several cultural treats on their doorsteps."

Alongside Mr Zephaniah, there will be novelists and travel writers, a biographer, a translator, an expert from the Natural History Museum, and a one-woman stage show.

Jo Burch, of Harts Events, said: "We wanted to celebrate as wide a range of writing as possible which explores the world. Nearly all of our speakers are award-winners in their fields so we are looking forward to some very high quality talks."

Acclaimed explorer and award-winning documentary film-maker Hugh Thomson, and Jane Wilson-Howarth, a Cambridge GP and author of several travel health guides, will give talks on travel writing.

The most unusual of the events will be Richard Forety, 'trilobite man' at London's Natural History Museum, who has delved into the feuds, affairs, scandals and skullduggery that have punctuated the history of the museum.

South African writer Marion Molteno, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, will run a creative writing workshop on how to create a strong sense of place.

Closer to home, local novelist Jojo Moyes is back to the festival, as is a new local writer, Clare Mulley, whose debut biography of the co-founder of the worldwide charity, Save the Children Fund, won the Daily Mail Biographers' Club award in 2007.

Also speaking at the event is Sandra Smith, translator of the worldwide bestselling novel, Suite Francaise, written by Irene Nemirovsky.

Carole Carpenter will perform a stage adaption of Jane Austen's comic history of England.

Saffron Screen will be showing two films as part of the festival - Che: Part I and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

The festival is also once again celebrating local literary talent with an event staged by the newly-formed Walden Writers group, while Harts Events will be taking authors into various local schools during the course of the festival.

For details of all the festival events and to book tickets visit www.hartsevents.co.uk or the Tourist Information Office in its temporary location behind the town hall. Or visit harts Events at Harts' showroom on Shire Hill.

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