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Book lovers set to celebrate eighth States of Independence festival

Book lovers from all over the country are heading to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) on Saturday for the latest States of Independence literary festival.

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The free event, now in its eighth year, features talks by bestselling writers, previews and extracts from the latest novels and poetry writing. It offers book lovers and aspiring writers the chance to meet publishers and writers and its programme offers a range of genres from ghosts to history, fact to fiction and poetry to criticism.

Dr Simon Perril, Programme Leader for Creative Writing, said: “It’s a book festival in a day, a marketplace, a conference, a place to relax and listen to some readings, an opportunity to argue about issues in the industry and to meet with independent presses from across the region.

“States of Independence supports independent thinking, independent writing and independent presses. Join us for the day or an hour. Attend lots of events - you will be spoiled for choice - or just one, or simply come along and browse through the twenty or so bookstalls to see what the independent sector is publishing.

"As always there are poetry and fiction readings and industry panels discussing current hot topics - this year focusing on independent literary magazines. Non-fiction wanders from British Palestine to John Clare's escape from an asylum, via the political power of music, reminiscences about being gay in the 80s, and how to talk about poetry.”

Among the guests will be poet and winner of the Ted Hughes Award David Morley, reading from his award-winning selected poems The Invisible Gift. Clare biographer John Goodridge and poet Jon Gallas will be talking about the countryside poet John Clare in Mad John’s Walk, one of the keynotes of the day.

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Henry Normal, co-writer of The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show and producer of Oscar-nominated Philomena, will be giving a reading of his poetry work, while Josephine Feeney shares her experiences of writing for children.

Joe Orton’s sister Leonie will talk about her book, I Had It In Me, about growing up on a council estate in Leicester during the Forties and Fifties.

Visitors can also find out about Grimalkin, a new Leicester publisher of ghost stories and “weird fiction”, as well as hearing work from DMU’s own Creative Writing students, Demon Crew.

There will also be bookstalls and displays from publishers across the East Midlands and beyond. The event is run by Five Leaves Bookshop and DMU’s Leicester Centre for Creative Writing, which offers Creative Writing courses at postgraduate level.

The whole event takes place at DMU’s Clephan Building and people can pop in and out of events as they wish. For more information, see the Facebook page or visit the website.
Posted on Friday 10th March 2017

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