NEWS: Hexham Book Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image of Lemn Sissay

With speakers, workshops and other events, Hexham Book Festival has pulled out all the stops this year to bring a varied programme of literary talent to the Northumberland market town.

From Friday 28th April until Sunday 7th May at, festival-goers have a feast of choice with Q&A sessions from a vast array of authors that hail from all corners of the the literary spectrum. Though the festival will take place at a number of venues, we’ve created a rundown of a few top picks taking place at Queen’s Hall Theatre.

  • Kicking off the festival is a biggie. Lemn Sissay is, if not already, rapidly approaching ‘national treasure’ status. Presenting his latest collection of poems Gold From the Stone, he’s come a long way from when, at the age of seventeen, he wrote his first poetry book and sold it by hand on the streets to miners and mill workers in his home town of Wigan. Since then, he’s become an era-defining writer: he was the official poet of the 2012 Olympics, and is a regular contributor to Radio 4 detailing his struggles with love, hate, prejudice and politics of everyday British life.
  • Since David Bowie’s death in January 2016, it’s become apparent exactly how important he was in terms of invention, longevity and how appreciated his music was around the globe. Exploring the psyche of Bowie and his creative process, acclaimed journalist and cultural commentator Paul Morley will be on hand on Saturday 29th April to discuss Age of Bowie, his recent bestselling biography of the great man.
  • Perhaps best known for his role as the BBC’s go-to guy for all things terrorism-related, Frank Gardner has been their specialist Security Correspondent for a number of years, and brings all his knowledge to bear in his first novel. Crisis is a fast-paced thriller, packed with espionage and informed by his intimate knowledge of international affairs – for all those who crave a taste of adventure, his talk is bound to be an eye-opening journey into a secretive and dangerous world.
  • In these hard times of austerity, the subject of money can often be a worrying one- Claudia Hammond highlights this in her new book Mind Over Money. Focusing on the psychology of money and how to use it better, Claudia is the voice of Radio 4’s psychology programme All in the Mind. In this discussion, she will examine the complex and often divisive issue of money, from bribery to boardroom pay, charitable giving to challenging your children. Money is so much more than hard cash, so whether you’re a spendthrift or a miser this is a great opportunity to learn how to avoid money messing with your head.

These are just a few of the offerings in store for visitors over the festival, but for those wanting to improve their own writing, there are also workshops for both adults and children on the timetable. So, In this celebration of the written word, there truly is something for absolutely everyone!

Hexham Book Festival takes place at various venues between Friday 28th April and Sunday 7th May.

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