In news we would have covered last week were we not recovering from dental surgery and as such too hopped up on goofballs to string together a coherent sentence, the line-up has been announced and tickets are now on sale for the ninth year of Aye Write!
, Glasgow’s annual springtime literary festival, which this year runs 4-12 April. As usual, the programme
offers an eclectic mix of well-regarded local talent and popular authors from further afield, participating variously in straightforward interviews, politically-engaged debates and workshops.
Most immediately attention-grabbing amongst proceedings is Remembering Iain Banks
, an evening of readings and reminiscences commemorating the beloved late author of The Crow Road
and The Bridge
featuring Ken Macleod, Ron Butlin and others, which will include the first public airing of some of Banks’ hitherto unpublished poetry
. Other widely popular Scots in attendance throughout the festival include Alasdair Gray
, launching his autobiographical Of Me and Others
, national Makar Liz Lochhead granting An Audience With herself
, Denise Mina, Sophie Hannah and Alex Gray discussing the longevity
of serialised crime fiction, Ewan Morrison
presenting a glimpse into the process of adapting his novel Swung
into a film, William McIlvanney
casting an eye over his long career, James Robertson
talking Robert the Bruce and, very excitingly, the great Tom Leonard and Tam Dean Burn presenting Leonard’s new Scots translation
of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage
From further afield, amongst many others, come infamous music biz lifer Jazz Summers
and his autobiography, Chocolat
and Five Quarters of the Orange
author Joanne M Harris
, erstwhile Pub Landlord Al Murray
as himself, and House of Leaves
author Mark Z. Danielewski, who joins
Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet
, to discuss the cutting edge of the novel.
Also running throughout the festival is a strand of events entitled The Books That Made Me, which sees well-kent faces from diverse occupations recount the literary influences that have shaped their lives: politician Tam Dalyell
, TV presenter Gail Porter
, former half of Arab Strap, inaugural Scottish Album of the Year winner and essential follow on Twitter Aidan Moffat
, Booker winner A S Byatt
, sculptor Alexander Stoddart
, theologian Richard Holloway
and comedian Frankie Boyle
are all participating.
Anyone who can’t wait for the festival proper to start and has little people to keep entertained at the weekend should know that Wee Write!
, the grown-up festival’s child-oriented precursor, takes place this coming Saturday, 8 March, with events including storytelling from Debi Gliori, a celebration of 25 years of David McKee’s Elmer books and a further celebration of 50 years of Roald Dahl’s immortal Charlie and the Chocolate Factory