Third Shrewsbury Festival of Literature to take place this weekend

The third annual Shrewsbury Festival of Literature takes place this weekend with international authors, poets and performers appearing at venues across the town.

Authors range from natural navigation pioneer Tristan Gooley, the celebrated food writer Elisabeth Luard and acclaimed novelist Manda Scott.

Mental health campaigner Rachel Kelly, the author of the global best-selling book Walking on Sunshine; celebrated new fiction writer Kate Mascarenhas, author Mary Munro; poet Matthew Francis and Shropshire-based nature writer Paul Evans are also taking part.

The festival’s popular Poetry Slam – a head-to-head, live poetry competition – is back too, led by performance poets and comedians Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse. And there will be creative writing workshops and a ‘Human Library’ where the ‘books’ will literally tell their own story.

“I am very excited about this year’s line up. There’s a great cross section of events featuring seasoned writers, such as Manda Scott, with many books under her belt, to a debut author, Kate Macarenhas, with her fascinating first novel The Psychology of Time Travel,“ said festival Chair Susan Caroline.

“And somehow we managed to secure the phenomenal Elisabeth Luard, traveller and food writer extraordinaire. I have long loved her books and am so pleased that she is coming to Shrewsbury. There is something for everyone at this year’s festival. It’s going to be wonderful!”

The festival kicks off on Friday November 23 with a guided exploration of Shrewsbury’s historic library, a launch event and a talk by natural navigator Tristan Gooley on the secrets of sensing direction using signs in nature.

Saturday will feature authors Rachel Kelly, Mary Munro, Paul Evans and Kate Mascarenhas and the festival Poetry Slam at The Hive.

Sunday includes a Poetry Brunch at Stop Café and talks by celebrated food writer Elisabeth Luard; poet Matthew Francis, acclaimed for his re-telling of the ancient Welsh epic The Mabinogi; and Manda Scott, from South Shropshire, author of both the globally successful Boudica and Rome series. She will lead the audience on a web of murder, mystery and espionage with her latest thriller A Treachery of Spies.

The Human Library, takes place at Shrewsbury Library on Saturday 10am to 12 noon. The books will be people with special experiences to share.

For information about all the festival events visit www.shrewsburylitfest.co.uk. Tickets are available online or from Pengwern Books, Fish Street, Shrewsbury.