Marlborough Literature Festival 2017 Events

28 September – 1 October

See the full programme below or view the brochure.

Online ticket sales now available, or please call the box office at Pound Arts 01249 701628, or visit the White Horse Bookshop, Marlborough in person (cash or cheque only).

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September 2017

Kayo Chingonyi – Kumukanda

September 28 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Ellis Theatre, Marlborough College + Google Map
£10

Kayo Chingonyi is a poet for whom location exists in language. He is joined at Marlborough LitFest by the wonderful dancer and choreographer Sean Graham.

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Under 5s Storytelling

September 29 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Marlborough Library, 91 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HD United Kingdom
+ Google Map
FREE

Following our popular event last year we are running a story telling session aimed pre-schoolers in Marlborough library. This year the stories will be told by Tor Burt, a professional nursery teacher. Sponsored by St Francis School

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Will Self – Phone

September 29 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£12

Will Self has described being a writer as a privilege and a delight but he has no audience in mind. Although highly entertaining, when asked whether his glass is half full or half empty the answer is neither, but a glass which has the bottom broken.

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Edmund Gordon – The Invention of Angela Carter

September 30 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Did Angela Carter, author of The Bloody Chamber, The Magic Toyshop, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children create her own mythology as a new kind of writer, or was this persona shaped by real life?
This new authorised biography of Carter is the first major study of one of the most important and enigmatic post war writers.

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Under 8s Storytelling

September 30 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
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Storyteller Teresa Masterson has delighted young children at previous readings.  

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Keggie Carew – Dadland

September 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Dadland is a highly accomplished and moving account of a courageous, maverick father, as well as Keggie Carew’s own experience of family life.

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Daniel Shand – Fallow

September 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

The Betty Trask Award is for first novels by authors under the age of 35. The winner of the 2017 Prize is debut novelist Daniel Shand. Born in Kirkcaldy in 1989, Daniel currently lives in Edinburgh, where he is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and a Scottish literature tutor.

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Translation Duel – One Hundred Years Of Solitude

September 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
St Marys Church Hall, St Marys Church + Google Map
£10

Our LitFest ‘Translation Duel’ challenges two eminent translators to explore the problems and options they face.

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Xiaolu Gou – Once Upon A Time In The East

September 30 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
St Marys Church Hall, St Marys Church + Google Map
£10

In 2013 Xiaolu Guo was named one of the best young British novelists of the decade, an accolade previously awarded to the likes of Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Zadie Smith. Her latest book, Once Upon A Time In The East, is a memoir of her struggles with, and escape from, the constraints of gender, poverty and state interference.

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Tony Brenton – Historically Inevitable

September 30 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Sir Tony’s career has included instrumental work on energy issues, the birth of European environment policy and the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ which achieved the first global agreement on Climate Change.

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Gwendoline Riley – First Love

September 30 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Gwendoline Riley’s men are often selfaggrandising, pompous and misogynist. Realistic? It isn’t that she tries not to compromise, more an inability to do so. Much of the uncompromising realism in her writing has been gleaned from working in Manchester bars, walking around the city and even a keen gig-going habit (Morrissey being a favourite).

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William Golding’s Legacy

September 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Golding’s daughter, Judy Carver, together with Nicola Presley, lecturer in English at Bath Spa University, will discuss just how pervasive Golding’s influence on popular culture has become.

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John O’Farrell – Things Can Only Get Worse

September 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

In the follow-up to his classic memoir, Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, John O’Farrell takes us on a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking roller-coaster ride, from the highs of the Labour victory in 1997 to the lows of Brexit.

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Kit Wharton – Emergency Admissions

September 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
St Marys Church Hall, St Marys Church + Google Map
£10

As a driver for the NHS ambulance service each 999 call can hurtle him into the critical moment of another person’s life. Wharton’s tales lightly veil the broken state of so much of our society. If he occasionally sounds a little detached it’s because he knows he’ll soon be off to deal with yet another crisis.

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Graeme Macrae Burnet – His Bloody Project

September 30 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
St Marys Church Hall, St Marys Church + Google Map
£10
Photo of Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents. Born and brought up in Kilmarnock, he worked as an English teacher in Europe and in television.

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Kamila Shamsie – Home Fire

September 30 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Kamila Shamsie believes writers need to take risks and write about the unfamiliar, even if it means not pulling it off entirely. Her latest book is Home Fire and tells the story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty.

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Fiona Maddocks – Music For Life

September 30 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Music and literature make an intoxicating harmony. Fiona Maddocks, the chief music critic of The Observer, is author of three books, the latest being Music for Life. The idea for the book is to provide music that sustains us at different times in our lives.

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Frank Gardner – Crisis

September 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£12

************ SOLD OUT ******************
Frank Gardner OBE is the BBC’s full time security correspondent as well as a territorial army officer and highly successful author. His first novel, Crisis, was published in 2016 and became an instant bestseller.

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Sarah Hall – Madame Zero

September 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Sarah Hall is not your stereotypical writer. A background in rural Cumbria, a love of both rugby and wild swimming, a preparedness to embrace political issues - just a few aspects that set Sarah apart.

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David Mitchell – Short Stories

September 30 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£12

David will read two or three short stories on the subjects of gardens, autism and time’s elasticity. These stories are currently only available in spoken form for the Marlborough LitFest audience. The readings will be followed by Q&A.

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October 2017

Collectable Book Roadshow

October 1 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Katharine House Gallery, The Parade + Google Map
FREE

Do you have a potentially valuable book? British art dealer and long-established rare book dealer Christopher Gange would love to appraise it for you. Just bring your book(s) along to Katharine House Gallery in The Parade and find out more.

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Vanessa Lafaye – At First Light

October 1 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Vanessa will be talking about scandals, shame, and secrets and the writing of ‘Inconvenient History’.
There will be free key lime tarts for the first 10 people through the door.

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JS Monroe – Find Me

October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

JS Monroe is the pseudonym of journalist and novelist Jon Stock, who wrote the Daniel Marchant (or ‘Legoland’) trilogy comprising Dead Spy Running, Games Traitors Play and Dirty Little Secret.

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John Boyne – The Heart’s Invisible Furies

October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is only Boyne’s second novel about Ireland. However, the Emerald Isle has been on an incredible journey and it’s amazing to think that homosexuality was illegal there little over 25 years ago.

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Poetry In The Pub

October 1 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Bear, High Street
Marlborough, United Kingdom
+ Google Map
FREE

This year we are asking for poems on the theme of Freedom. We invite all of whatever age to submit poems on this theme. Kayo Chingonyi, who opens LitFest on National Poetry Day, will be joining this session.

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Mahsuda Snaith & Xan Brooks – Debut Authors

October 1 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1HN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Two debut novelists - both included in this year’s prestigious Observer New Faces of Fiction.

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Tim Marshall – Worth Dying For: The Power And Politics Of Flags

October 1 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Shot at in Cairo, hit over the head in London, bruised by police in Tehran, arrested by Serbian intelligence, detained in Damascus, declared persona non grata in Croatia, bombed by the RAF in Belgrade and tear-gassed all over the world. All part of the job for Tim Marshall.

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Rare Books

October 1 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Marlborough College, Bath Road
Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1PA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10

Marlborough College holds an important and significant collection of rare books and manuscripts ranging in date from the fifteenth century to modern times. There will be an opportunity to examine and handle the book

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Creative Writing Workshop for Adults, with Stephen May.

October 1 @ 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Katharine House Gallery, The Parade + Google Map
£25

Suitable for both shy beginners as well as the more experienced, this fun and stimulating workshop will cover generating plot, structure, dialogue, character development and redrafting as well as giving insights into publishing.

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Francesca Simon – The Monstrous Child

October 1 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Marlborough Town Hall, 5 High Street
Marlborough, SN8 1AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
£5

The Monstrous Child will appeal to anyone over 11 with a taste for the mythological, the gothic or the macabre. It was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and the YA Book Prize.

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