The write stuff
Glasgow literary festival writes a new chapter. Words: Allan Radcliffe
Aye Write!, the west coast festival which celebrates Glaswegian writing and the best of Scottish and international literature, has cut the red ribbon on its 2007 programme.
Having overleaped that ‘difficult’ third birthday and acquired the status of permanent fixture in the Scottish literary calendar thanks to sponsorship from the Bank of Scotland, the programme is an eye-catching mix of fiction and non-fiction readings, meet the author events, workshops, storytelling sessions and a schools programme, with most events taking place at the landmark Mitchell Library, which has recently undergone extensive renovation.
The festival, which takes place from Friday 16-Sunday 25 February, features appearances by such literary luminaries as Alasdair Gray, who will be reading from his long -awaited new novel, Men in Love, as well as new work from Glasgow-based giants AL Kennedy and Janice Galloway, Tom Leonard, Liz Lochead and William McIlvanney. Other well-known writers making the journey north of the border include Sandi Toksvig, Howard Jacobson and John Banville.
Special events include sessions with Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, activist and thorn in the side of big business George Monbiot and historian Antony Beevor, Will Hutton on China and a chick-lit debate featuring Jenny Colgan. There are also a number of family-friendly events and over 70 free weekday events for Glasgow schools, with a programme of film screenings organised by GFT.
As reported in a previous issue of The List, the festival coincides with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, and takes slavery as a major theme. With this in mind, Glasgow libraries will be distributing more than 10,000 copies of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island, which describes the arrival of black Jamaican immigrants in post-war Britain. Upwards of 20,000 reading guides will be made available as part of the accompanying reading project.
Download the full programme at www.ayewrite.com