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.

Have a leaf through the brochure here:

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.

On Stage Litfest Elevenses
Today 11am; Tomorrow 11am; Sun 11am; Mon 11am; Tue 11am; Wed 11am; Thu 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; 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.

On Stage Uni at the Fest: Writing Literary Fiction Today
Today 6pm
Garret Theatre

Cristina Pérez Valverde takes part in a discussion about the book publishing industry and how it influences what people read and write.

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On Stage Imtiaz Dharker & Friends: Carol Ann Duffy, Keith Hutson, Mark Pajak, Ella Duffy, Molly Underwood
Today 7.30pm
Storyhouse Theatre

Festival Artist in Residence Imtiaz Darker is joined by former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and emerging artists for an evening of friends and poetry.

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On Stage Blodeuwedd Untold
Today 8.30pm
Garret Theatre

Jo Blake, international contemporary storyteller, irradiates the figure of Blodeuwedd, the Frankenstein of flowers

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Activities Get To Know Your Library
Tomorrow 2pm
Storyhouse

Get to know your library with a tour led by our team of library staff.

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On Stage Phoenix
Tomorrow 6pm
Garret Theatre

The ultimate one-man band: guitarist, pianist, drummer… dad. A wannabe star unexpectedly becomes a father – and learns it’s hard to make it big walking on LEGO.

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On Stage The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah
Tomorrow 7.30pm
Storyhouse Theatre

In a compelling and inspiring show, Benjamin Zephaniah talks about his remarkable life while sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems.

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On Stage Hollie Hughes: The Girl and the Dinosaur
Sun 11.30am
Garret Theatre

Join author Hollie Hughes for a morning of storytime as you follow Marianne’s journey in the recently published The Girl and the Dinosaur.

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On Stage Andrew McMillan
Sun 6pm
Garret Theatre

Poet Andrew McMillan reads from Playtime and his debut collection Physical, which was the first-ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award.

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On Stage Your Voices: Celebrating Local Writers
Sun 8pm
Garret Theatre

A celebration of established local talent, with readings/performances from five of our area’s finest wordsmiths.

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Activities Adult Arts & Crafts
The Kitchen

Join the Storyhouse engagement team as they introduce you to some craft activities suitable for beginners – come along to meet some like-minded people.

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Activities Experience Audiobooks
Tue 2.30pm
Book Pod

Learn how to download and borrow audiobooks for free using your Library Card.

Activities James Sills: Do Sing
Thu 7.30pm
The Kitchen

Musician and vocal leader James Sills is here to tell you the joys of singing together. Let him convince you, and then join us in some singing of our own!

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On Stage Luke Wright: Poet Laureate
Thu 8.30pm
Garret Theatre

Luke Wright is on a mission to write poems to unite a nation divided by austerity and Brexit. Can it be done? Can one poet ever really represent an entire nation?

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On Stage Cheshire Prize for Literature 2019
Garret Theatre

Join us for the grand final, with a performance from each of the finalists, followed by the award ceremony.

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Activities Human Library
The Kitchen

Drop in and choose a ‘book’: through conversation and asking questions, you’ll learn and discover the human being behind the label.

On Stage Professor AC Grayling: The History of Philosophy
Garret Theatre

In The History of Philosophy, Professor AC Grayling explores the great adventure of philosophy, from the Western, rich Indian, Chinese and Arabic-Persian traditions.

Sold out
On Stage The Gypsy, the Poet and the Dancer, with David Morley
The Kitchen

Join poet David Morley with dancers from Deva Flamenco in a celebration of poetry and dance with gypsy roots.

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On Stage Festival Finale Poetry Party
Garret Theatre

The Festival may be nearly over but we’re seeing it out with a bang! Poet Molly Naylor and singer Gavin Osborn take over the Garret theatre and bar for a night of booze-fuelled poetry and song.

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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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