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Events

Northerners: A History

One of the foremost experts in British regional and national affairs, Brian Groom talks about his new book Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day, the definitive biography of the north of England as told through the lives of its inhabitants.

In a sweeping narrative that takes us from the earliest times to the present day, the book shows how the people of the north have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.

At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, deserves to be as famous as Boudica. Neanderthals and Vikings, Central European Jews, Afro-Caribbeans and South Asians, have all played their part in the making and remaking of the north. Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontës and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.

Northerners also explores how the past echoes down the centuries, the north-south divide and the divisions between northerners, such as the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Finally, Brian Groom explores what northernness means today and the crucial role the north can play in Britain’s future.

Brian Groom is a writer and journalist who started his career at the Goole Times and moved on to work as a writer and section editor for the Financial Times and as editor of Scotland on Sunday.

‘Brian Groom is one of the most respected journalists of his generation – an essential writer on politics and business and a tireless champion of the north.’ George Parker, political editor, Financial Times

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Location: Huddersfield Library

Age guidance: 12+ (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/huddersfield-library

WORKSHOP: Let’s Do Words!: Writing for Wellbeing and Resilience

Join Bethan Rees to explore the world of wellbeing-based creative writing, where the goal is: “I have written something down”… That’s it, you win!

Creative writing for wellbeing allows you to explore your feelings, the environment, your imaginative ideas and just about anything, without the pressure of spelling, grammar or inspiration holding you back. The only thing in the way of your creative limits is yourself.

Bethan will set small, attainable and fun writing exercises to encourage you to write about whatever is on your mind in that present moment.

Everything is down to choice: how deep you go, how much you share with others and how you interpret the exercises set. There will also be flexible safety guidelines in place, which will be shared at the beginning of the session.

New data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that depression rates have doubled since the Covid-19 outbreak began. Wellbeing activities, including expressive writing, have been found to boost mood, enhance wellbeing, reduce symptoms of depression, reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma, and even improve your working memory (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).

Bethan Rees is currently studying for an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She is an experienced creative writing tutor who has led workshops in person and online. As a writer she has been published in a number of online and print poetry magazines and is working on chapbook/poetry pamphlet. Although she is not a counsellor, if anything should cause concern or a need for further exploration during your writing experiences, she will have signposted options available.

https://bethandoeswords.wixsite.com/letsdowords

Note: this workshop has limited places and advanced booking is recommended.
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Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub

 
Please note: this event will take place in our Festival Hub on the Piazza; however, as Bethan has tested positive for covid and is unable to travel, she will appear via Zoom on a large screen at the Hub to teach the workshop.

Poetry Slam

From 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm come and see 10 amazing poets battle through spoken word to see who will be crowned the HLF 2022 Slam Champ. Expect to be entertained, moved, lifted and transported by competitive poetry! Hosted by award-winning poet Rose Condo.

1st Prize: £50, and a guest spot at the HLF2023 Poetry Slam.

Want to apply to take part? Send a video (max length three minutes) of you performing your work to HLFPoetrySlam@gmail.com (it’s fine to use a phone to record your video). The deadline to apply is 1 March 2022.  See below for T&Cs.

Rose Condo is an award-winning Canadian poet based in Salford. She studied Theatre & Drama at the University of Winnipeg and earned her MA in Theatre & Development Studies at the University of Leeds. Rose has been writing, performing and teaching for over 20 years, and she is the Mentoring Manager (North) for Arts Emergency. Her debut poetry collection After the Storm was published in 2020 and she has won awards for her projects and shows, which include, The Empathy Experiment, The Geography of Me and How to Starve an Artist. She has hosted and won many Slams.

Terms and Conditions

  1. To apply please send a video (max length three minutes) of you performing your work to HLFPoetrySlam@gmail.com (it’s fine to use a phone to record your video). The deadline to apply is 1 March 2022.
  2. We will only view one application per person. Further applications will be ignored.
  3. The deadline for applications is strictly 5pm on 1 March 2022. We regret that we cannot view any applications received after this time.
  4. Successful artists should hear back from us by five working days after the deadline.

SLAM RULES

  1. Poetry must be your own original work
  2. No singing or props.
  3. There will be two rounds. The poets will draw numbers from a hat and perform in that order. In the second round, the order will be reversed.
  4. Poets have 3 minutes to perform their poetry. The clock starts from the very first thing you say – including hello.

Points will be deducted for over-running as follows:

1-9 seconds minus 1 point

10-19 seconds minus 2 points

20-29 seconds minus 3 points

30 seconds minus 4 points, the host will stop you, you’ll be judged on your incomplete poem.

  1. The poets will be scored out of 10 in two categories. Written content and quality of performance. The highest total score over both rounds wins £50. In the event of a tie, there will be a final sudden death round.
  2. Judges’ decisions are final. Please remember the slam motto: “The points are not the point, the poetry is the point.”

Places are limited due to venue capacity
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Venue: Small Seeds

Age Guidance: 16+

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/small-seeds

 

WORKSHOP: Illustrating Children’s Books

Ever fancied producing a children’s book? Open to adults and families alike, this interactive workshop with artist Lucy Farfort will introduce you to children’s picture book illustration, looking at the basics of character design, and weaving text with imagery.

Lucy Farfort is an Illustrator and Author of dual Caribbean-English heritage. She knew from a young age, that she wanted to make a living out of her great love of drawing, however growing up in a small town in the 80s, meant she never saw children’s books with kids in who looked like her, and it was a love of manga comics and animation that initially drew her towards an illustration career.

Lucy studied Illustration and Animation at Manchester Metropolitan University, and after graduating in 2002 began work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. As an avid fan of picture books, Lucy’s work veered increasingly towards story, and after years of freelancing whilst working a day job, she eventually followed up on encouragement to seek work as a children’s book illustrator.

In 2017 Lucy won first prize in illustration for Faber Children’s inaugural FAB Prize competition and has gone on to work with Little Tiger Press as an illustrator on their Our Town picture book series, Knight’s Of and Scholastic. This year Lucy is debuting as an author and will have a story published in the ‘Faber Book of Bedtime Stories’ out in Oct, and her own picture book ‘In Our Hands’ will be coming from Tate Publishing in September.

Please note, this workshop replaces the one advertised in our brochure with Onyinye Iwu.

This event is FREE, however, due to limited event capacity booking is required.
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Age guidance: all ages (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Location: Festival Hub

 

SCRAPtastic Stories

Join fairandfunky for SCRAPtastic Stories – a creative, crafty story session.

Enjoy readings of Someone Swallowed Stanley, a brilliant children’s book with a strong environmental message about littering, and make a jellyfish or fish mobile from recycled materials.

A drop-in session with readings of the story at 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm.

Free (no booking required)
However, you can make a donation to the festival if you wish 

Make a Donation

Location: MakerWorld

Age guidance: all ages (Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

For accessibility please call the Piazza Centre on 01484 534594

Open Mic hosted by Talking Zebras

Join local writing group Talking Zebras for a welcoming Open Mic session in our Festival Hub.

Bring your poems and other short works to read out in front of a receptive audience or simply come along to listen and enjoy.

Thursday 31 March

7.45pm

Free (booking recommended due to venue restrictions)
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Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub

 

Spoken Word in the UK

Celebrated performance poets Rose Condo, Kate Fox and Sundra Lawrence discuss a new comprehensive anthology exploring the vast array of different styles and characteristics that make spoken word performance in the UK unique.

Spoken Word in the UK draws together a wide range of scholars, critics and practitioners to give a new perspective on performance poetics. It’s a crucial and ground-breaking companion for those teaching and studying spoken word, theatre, performance, literature and culture.

Rose Condo is an award-winning Canadian poet based in Salford. She studied Theatre & Drama at the University of Winnipeg and earned her MA in Theatre & Development Studies at the University of Leeds. Rose has been writing, performing and teaching for over 20 years, and she is the Mentoring Manager (North) for Arts Emergency. Her debut poetry collection After the Storm was published in 2020 and she has won awards for her projects and shows, which include, The Empathy Experiment, The Geography of Me and How to Starve an Artist.

Kate Fox is a stand-up poet, writer, broadcaster and speaker. She has been a performer on and contributor to many programmes on BBC TV and radio, and Poet in Residence for the Great North Run, Glastonbury Festival and R4’s Saturday Live. She has supported acts including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hollie McNish, John Cooper Clarke and John Hegley and is a headline act in her own right. She has written two comedy series called The Price of Happiness for Radio 4 and her current touring show Where There’s Muck There’s Bras about notable northern women. Kate also a campaigner for the voices of Northerners, the working class, women and the neurodiverse to be heard.

Sundra Lawrence is a UK-based poet and writer of Tamil heritage. Her work visits themes of migration, religion and home. She is an experienced creative writing tutor and has performed her work across the UK and internationally. Sundra’s work has been broadcast on BBC TV and radio and is published in numerous anthologies. She is a Malika’s Poetry Kitchen Alumni and is the founder and director of Write Lines. In 2021, she won the Aryamati Poetry Prize.

Free (booking recommended)
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Age guidance: 14+ (Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Location: Festival Hub

 

Open Mic hosted by Sharena Lee Satti

A welcoming Open Mic hosted by Bradford-based poet Sharena Lee Satti. Bring your poems, short prose pieces, raps and enthusiasm for spoken word.

Slots may be restricted to three minutes depending on numbers attending.

Sharena Lee Satti is a passionate poet who writes about her own personal life, current environmental issues, social stigmas, homelessness and more. She considers writing as integral to her existence as eating or breathing.

Her poetry collection She was published in 2020 by The Verve Poetry Press, covering a long career as an inspirational live poet, host and workshop tutor. Her poems are real, raw and honest, addressing issues such as survival, cultural-identity, life’s battles, self-love, body dysmorphia and many other subjects that people struggle to speak out about. Her love of nature is also evident.

Free (booking recommended)
Book Tickets

Age guidance: 16+

HLF 2022 Launch

Join us at our Festival Hub for an informal Festival launch and find out more about our forthcoming programme of events. Light refreshments served. All welcome.

View our One World/Our Story exhibition of photographs featuring members of a local group of refugees who have settled in Huddersfield.

Following our launch, Kirklees Council will be lighting up landmark buildings in Huddersfield to commemorate the second anniversary of Lockdown.

Free (no booking required) However, you can make a donation to the festival if you wish

Make a Donation

Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub

 

Exhibition: One World, My Story

Sharing Our Stories is a Women’s Refugee Writing Group, that meet to share experiences of coming to the UK and their hopes for the future.

Commissioned by the Festival, this exhibition of photographs and accompanying stories will introduce some of the refugees who have sought sanctuary in Huddersfield, and show how they are rebuilding their lives with courage, dignity, resilience and kindness.

Free (no booking required)
To make a donation to the festival please visit: Make a Donation

Location: Festival Hub

Saturday 5 March – Sunday 3 April open during Hub opening hours only

All ages (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)