Durham Book Festival 2015

book-festivalDurham Book Festival returns in 2015, bringing established writers and new talent (plus a life-sized polar bear!) to the city. We will be supporting several events at this year’s celebration from 6th to 17th October.

Each year the Centre for Poetry and Poetics organises the Festival Laureate, who writes a specially commissioned poem inspired by Durham. This year’s laureate is the Irish poet, Sinéad Morrissey, whose five collections include the TS Eliot Prize-winning Parallax (2013). Sinéad will visit two County Durham secondary schools during her visit, and give a reading on 17th October at Palace Green Library.

We’ll also be helping to launch new poetry with Frances Leviston. Her first poetry collection, Public Dream, was one of the most acclaimed debuts of recent years and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for First Collection. Her vivid new collection, Disinformation, addresses one of the key questions of the age: how have we come to know what we think we know?

Why are both child and adult readers so drawn to stories of magic, the supernatural and the strange?

Continuing the theme of knowledge, the Institute of Advanced Study will be hosting a debate that contests that There is No Such Thing as Hard Evidence. Crime writers Louise Welsh and Helen Cadbury will be joined by Fiona de Londras (Law) and Dan Grausam (English Studies).

And on the opposite pole to hard evidence lies fantasy and fiction. Why are both child and adult readers so drawn to stories of magic, the supernatural and the strange, set in worlds that do not exist? And what might such stories tell us about our everyday lives, and the world around us? As part of Durham Book Festival’s celebration of 2015’s Big Read, Northern Lights, a panel of researchers, chaired by Simon James, will be considering these questions. Experts from Literary Studies, History and Theology will consider Northern Lights, and other stories of the fantastic, and we welcome questions from and discussion with all readers of fantastic literature.


These are just a few of the many fantastic events taking place this year. For the full programme, head over to the Festival website – or for a taste of what to expect, here are some of our reviews from previous years’ Festivals.


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