Debut Paisley Book Festival celebrates radical voices and rebel stories

Debut Paisley Book Festival hosts the theme of Radical Voices and Rebel Stories

Nikesh Shukla / credit: Mahtab Hussain

The ten-day affair is the first book festival to take place in the Scottish town, welcoming names such as Nikesh Shukla, Maggie Craig and Janice Galloway

Paisley is in for a literary treat as its brand new book festival brings brilliant authors to town. The ten-day bonanza is packed with events reflecting the theme Radical Voices and Rebel Stories, and celebrates Paisley's contribution to the Radical Wars of 1820 on its 200-year anniversary.

Supported as part of Future Paisley, the festival is a timely addition to Scotland's roster of bookish celebrations. Sarah Stewart, who will be reading from her poetry pamphlet Glisk, says, 'we've never needed a festival full of grassroots activism and political conversation more', while Dean Atta, part of the Writing Queer Identities event, reminds us that just because 'some voices are getting airtime and book deals, that does not mean all the work has been done'.

The opening event, Renfrewshire Rebels, will start the festival as it means to go on, with author Maggie Craig, poet Jim Carruth and singer-songwriter Heir of the Cursed. The wider programme includes plenty of readings and insights from rebellious writers of all stripes, including Jackie Kay, Nikesh Shukla, Hollie McNish, Kirsty Wark and Jenni Fagan.

There will also be a variety of in-depth discussions, such as a panel focusing on access to publishing. Panellist and award-winning writer Ever Dundas promises it will be 'something to get your teeth into, specifically focusing on disability and chronic illness because they've been neglected. And we're not just playing lip service; we're all working to make a difference.' Be part of the change, dance in the aisles at a gig from the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers or raise a glass at the Birthday Bash for John Byrne: Paisley Book Festival has got it all.

Paisley Book Festival, various venues, Paisley, Thu 20–Sat 29 Feb.

Paisley Book Festival

Brand new book festival with the theme Radical Voices and Rebel Stories. Featuring guest appearances from Jenni Fagan, Kirstin Innes, Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre and Doug Johnstone.

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