Chester Literature Festival

Welcome to Chester Literature Festival 2019
  • Storyhouse Theatre

This year Chester Literature Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with 128 events from 9-30 November 2019, featuring major authors, storytellers, broadcasters and poets with performance and discussion across the festival.

Authors Armistead Maupin and Michael Morpurgo, poets Imtiaz Dharker, Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay and writer and TV presenter Nadiya Hussain top the bill alongside a raft of writers, storytellers, musicians and spoken word artists.

“We are delighted to bring such a rich programme to Chester in the Chester Literature Festival’s 30th anniversary year. Our artist in residence Imtiaz Dharker has produced stunningly beautiful illustrations and words for our walls and we can’t wait to bring her curated events to life. This year we explore cultural identity across our programme, with themes of ethnicity, religion, disability and physicality, generation, sexuality and gender, class, parenthood and the care system, and belonging and displacement in all their forms. We hope you’ll find a home at Storyhouse during this year’s festival.”
Sam Bain, Senior Programme Manager, Storyhouse.


Chester Literature Festival throughout the years

Chester Literature Festival is one of the UK’s oldest literature festivals. It was established in 1989 by volunteer organisation Chester Arts 89 and booksellers in the city. They programmed a week of activity with a line-up that included a reading by DH Lawrence’s niece. Storyhouse have programmed the festival since 2012. Artist-in-residences have included Ted Hughes Prize-winner Hollie McNish and Sunday Times-bestselling author Lemn Sissay, both of whom have had poems adorning the walls, floors, windows, nooks and crannies of Storyhouse. Lemn’s poems can still be found throughout the building, until Imtiaz Dharker’s poems arrive in November.

Chester Literature Festival
Explore Full Guide
Activities Poet-Tree
The Den

Young poets of Chester: come and read a poem – either one we have at the library, or one you’ve written yourself – to our special Poet-Tree to help it grow!

On Stage Imtiaz Dharker

Poet, artist and filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker is 2019’s Chester Literature Festival Guest Director and Artist in Residence. Her poems and…

On Stage Litfest Elevenses
Today 11am; Tomorrow 11am; Sat 11am; Sun 11am; Mon 11am; Tue 11am; Wed 11am + more times
The Kitchen

Listen to a short reading from a local author, poet or storyteller to start the Literature Festival day.

On Stage Four O’Clock Story
Today 4pm; Tomorrow 4pm; Sat 4pm; Sun 4pm; Mon 4pm; Tue 4pm; Wed 4pm + more times
The Kitchen

A chance for the whole family to pull up a beanbag, get comfy and listen to a wide variety of storytellers and tales.

Cinema Official Secrets (15)
Today 6pm

1 hr 52 | [AD] | True story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun, who leaked a top-secret memo to journalist Martin Bright.

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On Stage Telling Stories of Displacement
Today 6.45pm
Storyhouse Theatre

Novelist and historian Mary Chamberlain, dance-storyteller Akeim Toussaint Buck and award-winning journalist and novelist Michelle Jana Chan discuss the theme of displacement in fiction and storytelling.

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Season On Stage

From musicals, dance and comedy, to opera, drama and family – there’s something for everyone on stage at Storyhouse.

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