Aye Write! launch their 2016 programme
Glasgow's annual book festival features Nicola Sturgeon, Irvine Welsh and the launch of new strand Aye Con
Glasgow's book festival Aye Write! returns to the Mitchell Library this March. There's politics, history, fiction, comedians, musicians and bakers, all united by the written word. We had a nosy through the programme to see what events you'll want to book when tickets go on sale Sat 30 Jan at 9am.
Politicians Read Fiction Too
Ever wondered what books politicians curl up with after a hard day debating at the Parliament? Now is your chance to find out as the leaders of Scotland’s five biggest political parties at Holyrood all discuss 'The Books that Made Me'. Individually, otherwise we'd have a political debate on our hands. See Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale (Thu 10), Conservative MSP Ruth Davidson (Sat 12), Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie (Sat 19), Green MSP Patrick Harvie (Fri 18) and the First Minister herself SNP MSP Nicola Sturgeon (Sun 20). There's also a former MP in the house as Tam Dalyell discusses his book A Fractured Union, offering perspective on the ramifications of the No vote and the surge in support for the SNP in last years General Election ( Sat 12).
Guarantee yourself some laughs as actor and comedian Brian ‘Limmy’ Limond presents his first book Daft Wee Stories (Fri 11) and comedian Alexei Sayle (The Young Ones, The Comic Strip) discusses the delightfully named Thatcher Stole My Trousers, a blend of social and personal history that may or may not feature the MP nicking his clothes. (Fri 18)
Issues Of The Day
Keep it topical as James Harkin and Andrew Hosken take you 'Inside Islamic State' (Thu 10), the features editor of Sport Magazine, Sarah Shephard, discusses Kicking Off: How Women in Sport are Changing the Game (Sat 12) and environmental journalist George Monbiot asks 'how did we get in this mess?' and offers his take on possibilities for change (Sun 13). Elsewhere Ian Overton investigates gun ownership across the world in his book Gun Baby Gun (Sun 13) and author Matt Haig discusses issues of mental health in his memoir Reasons to Stay Alive (Sun 20).
The launch of Aye Con
2016 presents a new strand of events aimed at people interested in graphic novels, comics, and gaming. Author of Embed with Gaming Cara Ellison and gaming journalist Keza McDonald get Inside the Minds of Gamers and Game Creators (Sat 11). Scotland’s acclaimed graphic novelists Metaphrog discuss The Red Shoes and Other Tales, Outspoken Arts Scotland and Unthank Comics present Steve Orlando talking about The Midnighter and Alan Grant (Judge Dread) and Frank Quitely (New X-Men) join Metaphrog’s John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs to discuss The Many Faces of Scottish Comics. (all Sat 19)
Stranger Than Fiction
Ben Stewart tells the true story of the Arctic 30, a group of protesters who faced 15 years in a Russian prison for protesting about Arctic drilling. He is joined in this discussion of Don’t Trust, Don’t Fear, Don’t Beg with one of the Arctic 30, Frank Hewetson (Sun 13). On the same day Roland White charts the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the challenges faced by the crews and NASA in Into the Black (Sun 13).
Offering their perspectives on the music biz are former NME journalist Stuart Cosgrove with Young Soul Rebel: A Personal History of Northern Soul (Fri 11), Paul Du Noyer and his Conversations with McCartney (Sat 12) and Adam White with Motown: The Sound of Young America, a look at the secret workings of the Motown record label that delivered hits for Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross (Sun 13).
Treat you eyes further with live music; The Bookshop Band (Fri 11) play songs inspired by books; musicians James Yorkston and Colin MacIntyre host an evening of novels and songs as they debut their first novels (Sat 12); and Sooprano Marie Claire Breen and mezza-soprano Laura Margaret Smith present the world premiere of the 'Edwin Morgan Song Cycle', two news works based on the writings of Edwin Morgan and composed by Liam Paterson of Scottish Opera (Sun 20).
Food & Drink
There's plenty of opportunities to work up an appetite at the festival. On Sat 19 the 2013 Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn (Quinntessential Baking) discusses signature bakes with Alysa Levene of Cake: A Slice of History. Food critic Joanna Blythman (Swallow) and Bee Wilson (First Bite) tackle the question 'are we what we eat?'. On Sun 20 Masterchef judge John Torode talks about his personal cookbook My Kind of Food. Ginthusiasts can join Ian Buxton, former Marketing Director of Glenmorangie and author of 101 Gins To Try Before You Die, as he attempts to settle the age old question 'which is better, Glasgow or Edinburgh?' in the form of a gin tasting contest between Edinburgh Gin and Makar Glasgow Gin (Fri 18).
Being a new author at a festival can be a scary experience. Is your signature literary enough? How will you deal with the groupies? Luckily some festival pros have taken the novices under their wings. On Fri 11 Craig Robertson introduces Matt Johnson and Michelle Davis to talk about their debut crime novels; Adrian Searle of Freight Publishing welcomes debut novelists Jem Lester and Lara Williams (Sun 13); Glasgow’s Poet Laureate Jim Carruth plays host to Helen Mort and Rebecca Perry (Thu 17); Alan Bissett is in charge of David Savill and Alec Connon (Fri 18); and Louise Welsh has chosen two authors working with gothic fiction, Andrew Michael Hurley and Lorna Gibb. (Sat 19).
Darlings of the festival
It just wouldn't be Aye Write! without a few familiar faces. Chris Brookmyre returns to discuss investigative reporter Jack Parlabane's latest turn in Black Widow (Sat 12) as well as his novel Bedlam being made into a game. Denise Mina is on the panel at Noir at the Bar (Sun 13) and Irvine Welsh presents the newest edition to his Trainspotting canon (Tue 5 Apr). The Blade Artist sees hard man Francis Begbie, now living in California, on a trip back home to his Leith roots.
Aye Write!, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Tue 10--Fri 20 Mar, tickets on sale Sat 30 Jan at 9am.