Festival pulls in the big names

Critically-acclaimed Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin and BBC TV presenter Evan Davis are among the big names appearing at this year’s Derbyshire Literature Festival.

Tickets go on sale today (Monday) and, with a packed programmed of events across 45 venues, there should be something for everyone.

This is the 7th Derbyshire Literature festival, organised by Derbyshire County Council, which takes place every two years. In 2012 it runs from Friday, May 11 until Sunday, May 20 and features more than 65 events across the county.

Highlights include:

Claire Tomalin talks about her biography Charles Dickens: A Life, at Calke Abbey on Friday, May 11, as we celebrate 200 years since the novelist’s birth.

Joanne Harris – best-selling author of Chocolat – reads from her latest novel Peaches for Monsieur le Curé in a special pre-publication event at Chesterfield Library on Friday, May 18.

Broadcaster and economist Evan Davis talks about his book Made in Britain in one of Derbyshire’s finest surviving mills – Masson Mills in Matlock Bath – on Sunday, May 13.

BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera gives a talk about his latest book The Art of Betrayal: Life and Death in the British Secret Service at Chesterfield Library on Thursday, May 17.

Jackie Kay – poet and writer – discusses her award-winning memoir Red Dust Road and a new collection of short stories at the closing event of the festival in Belper Community Hall on Sunday, May 20.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council and cabinet member for culture, Cllr Andrew Lewer said he was pleased to be welcoming such big names to the county.

“We have some great writers coming to Derbyshire who, I am sure, will be a big draw to anyone who enjoys a good book. But that is not all we have.

“There are writing workshops, exhibitions, children’s activities, events for teenagers and family events.

“We are also covering a very wide range of subjects, including science fiction, fantasy and horror, Bletchley Park, women’s fiction, Tolkien and book binding.

“Other events link to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the bicentenaries of Charles Dickens and Edward Lear,” added Cllr Lewer.

As well as national literary stars, this year’s festival also features some great Derbyshire authors and poets including Derbyshire Poet Laureate Matt Black, Mark Gwynne Jones, Abi Burlingham, Caryl Hart, River Wolton, Edward Hogan and Jasvinder Sanghera.

Tickets can be booked through any Derbyshire library or by contacting Call Derbyshire on 08456 058 058 or 01629 533190.

See the full programme of events at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/festival