NEWS: Crossing The Tees | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Alice-Mary Purkiss

Featuring everything from blogging to spine-chilling thrillers, intriguing history and artistic poetry, Crossing The Tees book festival – taking place in locations across Teesside from Saturday 9th until Saturday 23rd June – is certain to provide something that’ll tickle your literary fancy.

Our top tips include poetry guru Kirsten Luckins’ introduction to Blackout Poetry, which uses visual elements to highlight words and phrases from printed text to create a new piece of poetic work, join Kirsten’s workshop at Grove Hill Community Hub and Thornaby Central Library (Saturday 9th), Redcar Library (Monday 11th), Cockerton Library (Wednesday 13th) and Community Hub Central in Hartlepool (Saturday 23rd June).

Prospective wordsmiths can learn about the world of blogging with writer and festival blogger-in-residence Alice-Mary Purkiss, whose insightful and often humorous blog deals with her breast cancer diagnosis at 26 years old. Alice-May talks Life, Lemons and Melons on Saturday 9th at Crown Street Library, Darlington. She also leads blogging workshops to help spark creative ideas earlier that afternoon, and also at Middlesbrough Central Library on Tuesday 12th, Billingham Library on Wednesday 13th, Saltburn Library on Tuesday 19th and Community Hub Central, Hartlepool on Wednesday 20th.

More inspirational stories for up and coming writers come courtesy of Nancy Revell, author of the Shipyard Girls series of novels based in the North East during World War II, who explains her transition from journalist to writer (Tuesday 12th, Community Hub Central, Hartlepool). Real-life stories also come courtesy of writer and comedian Adam Kay’s no-holds-barred account of his life as a junior doctor, which won critical acclaim upon its release, hear his tales at Stockton Central Library on Monday 18th; while shepherdess Amanda Owen lifts the lid on her transformation from townie to rural sheep farmer (Middlesbrough Central Library, Thursday 21st).

Crime fans are in for a treat, with a host of intriguing events throughout the festival. Unleash your inner Holmes at Stockton Central Library’s murder mystery (Saturday 9th); Mick Herron, spy novelist extraordinaire, talks about his new work London Rules at Stockton Central Library (Wednesday 13th); former policeman and journalist Paul Finch talks about his experiences writing for telly crime drama The Bill (Community Hub Central, Hartlepool on Thursday 14th); and crime writer A.A. Dhand talks about his phenomenally successful series (Guisborough Library, Thursday 14th).

Writing collective Vane Women will read their latest work at Crown Street Library in Darlington and host a workshop to teach essential poetry skills (Thursday 14th); Tees Valley publishers Mudfog launch new pamphlets by women poets at Middlesbrough Central Library (Friday 15th); learn the tricks of the poetic trade with esteemed local poets Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby, who also perform alongside songwriters and poets later that evening at the superb Electric Kool-Aid Cabaret night (Middlesbrough Central Library, Saturday 16th); and performance poet and writer Carmen Marcus explains the processes behind writing magical realism at Marske Library (Saturday 16th). For novel writers, indie book publishers 6th Element explain how to self-publish your own book (Stockton Central Library, Saturday 16th).

For the young feminists in your family, Kate Pankhurst introduces her book, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World (Tuesday 12th, Stockton Central Library); and there’s family comedy on offer from Teesside comic Patrick Monahan at Crown Street Library, Darlington on Saturday 23rd.

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