Have you seen the 2024 HLF Brochure? Download your copy today

Events

We Are All Astronauts 

3,2,1 … BLAST OFF! Join bestselling author/illustrator Kate Pankhurst to meet the shining star of We Are All Astronauts – young astronaut in training, Luna Scope.  

Float through the Milky Way with Luna as she discovers exactly what it takes to become a space explorer.  

A session fizzing with space facts, female pioneers of space travel, dressing up and drawing. (No space suits needed, with our feet firmly on Planet Earth we can learn all we can about space – just like astronauts. You could say we are all astronauts!) 

 Kate Pankhurst is the award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator of the trailblazing Fantastically Great Women books. We Are All Astronauts is the first in a new series tackling popular non-fiction topics in fun new ways. Most days, Kate can be found illustrating and writing in her studio in Leeds with her spotty dog, Olive. 

Suitable for families with children aged 5 to 9 years old. All children must be accompanied by an adult (no more than three children to each adult), additional siblings U12 months, free.

Date: Saturday 27 April 

Time: 11am-12pm

Venue: Meltham Library, Carlile Institute, 54 Huddersfield Road, Meltham HD9 4AG 

Tickets: £5 adult + child, £2 further adult or child tickets, additional siblings U12 months, free 

Age guidance: 5-9 (all children must be accompanied by an adult) 

For access information, please contact the library on 01484 414 868 

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book tickets

Book Launch: In the Foothills of the Himalayas

Join Huddersfield author Dr Sarah Hussain for the launch of her new novel, an eco-thriller set against the majestic backdrop of the Himalayas. Sarah will be interviewed by the writer Michael Stewart.

Born in the Raj era under British rule, Vidhya grows up observing her father fight for a free India. She witnesses catastrophic flooding as a result of deforestation by order of a powerful English company, and begins to understand the importance of preserving the forest. When Vidhya uncovers a conspiracy that puts her in great jeopardy, she courageously leads a group of women on a non-violent protest and they embrace the trees. But at what cost? 

Dr Sarah Hussain is a Huddersfield author and educator. Her novella Escape from Syria was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize Award. In 2018 she won the Ms Shakespeare competition in Yorkshire and was commissioned to write a monologue, which was performed at the Huddersfield Literature Festival on International Women’s Day. She was shortlisted in a competition run by the University of Huddersfield and her short story “You will be free one day, my dearest India” is included in the anthology Trouble, published by Grist. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Literature in 2008, a Master of Arts in Creative Writing in 2018, and has recently completed a PhD. 

Michael Stewart is a multi-award-winning writer of novels, including King Crow and Ill Will: The Untold Story of Heathcliff, short stories and non-fiction including the memoir Walking the Invisible. A playwright and poet, who has also written for TV and radio, he is Head of English at the University of Huddersfield, where he is editor-in-chief of Grist Books.

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request. 

 

Date: Saturday 20 April 

Time: 2pm-3pm 

Venue: Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH 

Tickets: Free (donations welcomed, booking recommended) 

Age guidance: 12+ (U16s should be accompanied by an adult) 

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

 

Book tickets

Workshop – Ted Hughes 

Mayday on Holderness is the decisive poem in Ted Hughes’s oeuvre, important for several reasons: it is his first ecopoem, his first free verse poem and his first poetic wrestle with his early reputation as a “poet of violence”.   

 

However, the true significance of the poem is in the way it lays out, in an almost manifesto-like way, the major theme of his subsequent work: his view of the Universe as an infinite flux of creation and devouring, an Empedoclean interplay of Love (Philotes) and Strife (Neikos), in which humans must find their place and meaning. 

 

Join Steve Ely, poet and Director of the Ted Hughes Network at the University of Huddersfield, for a talk, close reading and discussion of this seminal poem. 

 

Steve Ely  is an award-winning poet and writer based in Yorkshire. He has written 10 books or poetry pamphlets, including The European Eel, Lectio Violant and Englaland. Two further books, Orasaigh (a collaboration with photographer Michael Faint) and Eely are out in 2024. Steve teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Director of the Ted Hughes Network, a research centre with a particular brief to engage non-academic communities with Hughes’s work. He is the author of Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough, a biographical work that explores the importance of Hughes’s early Yorkshire years, and several journal papers and book chapters about Hughes’s work. He recently won a major AHRC grant to complete a book entitled Ted Hughes’s Expressionism: Visionary Subjectivity and he organised a symposium of that name at the British Library in 2023, where he gave the keynote address. Steve recently led the Discovering Ted Hughes’s Yorkshire project, creating six literary trail maps that allow walkers to explore Hughes’s formative Yorkshire landscapes. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request. 

 

Date: Thursday 18 April 

Time: 7pm-9pm 

Venue: Room OA5/11, Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH 

Tickets: £12 (£5 conc), free for University of Huddersfield staff and students & essential carers. Age Guidance: 16+ 

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

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book tickets

A Tribute to Benjamin Zephaniah – HYBRID EVENT

In this special event, poet Michelle Scally Clarke, Colin Grant and Alex Wheatle explore the poetry, music and legacy of Benjamin Zephaniah (15 April 1958 – 7 December 2023).  

 

Poet, novelist, playwright, musician, actor, TV and radio presenter, and professor of creative writing, Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah was born and raised in Birmingham. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, from his first collection Pen Rhythm (1980) to inspiring a generation of rappers with his Reggae and Dub Poetry recordings. He also wrote children’s and YA books; his novel Refugee Boy was adapted for the stage by our Festival Patron Lemn Sissay. 

https://benjaminzephaniah.com/  

 

About the contributors 

Michelle Scally Clarke is a poet, author, actor and playwright. She has worked alongside poetry greats from Lemm Sissay and Linton Kwesi Johnson to Benjamin Zephaniah himself. She is the author of two memoirs: I Am and She Is. Originally a theatre actor, she has toured her plays, First Cut and Suitcase throughout Yorkshire schools, and was commissioned by the NHS to write, tour and film a play: Jeans, Whose Genes?  

 

Colin Grant is the author of six books. They include: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, and a group biography of the Wailers, I & I, The Natural Mystics. His memoir, Bageye at the Wheel, was shortlisted for the Pen/Ackerley Prize, 2013. Grant’s history of epilepsy, A Smell of Burning, was a Sunday Times Book of the Year 2016. Grant’s Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation, was a BBC radio 4 Book of the Week Grant is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Director of WritersMosaic, a division of the Royal Literary Fund. His latest book is a memoir: I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be. 

 

Alex Wheatle spent most of his youth in the notorious Shirley Oaks children’s home and his youth was portrayed in Oscar Award-winning director Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series. His first novel, Brixton Rock, was published in 1999 to critical acclaim and was followed by further YA and adult novels and memoirs. He has won several awards and in 2008 was awarded MBE for services to literature. His latest book is the memoir: Sufferah: Memoir of a Brixton Reggae Head. 

 

HYBRID EVENT – this is a Hybrid event, which can be attended in person at the venue or accessed online. Simply select the Live or Online ticket link for your preferred event viewing. For online access a link will be sent to you the day before the event takes place. 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request. 

 

Date: Saturday 27 April  

Time: 4.30pm-5.30pm 

Venue: Small Seeds, Castlegate (New Street junction), Huddersfield HD1 2UD 

Tickets: £5, online tickets: £2 

Age Guidance: 16+ 

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

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book In person tickets

Book Online tickets

Conscious Hour Unplugged

Conscious Hour Unplugged – where young people step into the spotlight! 

Conscious Hour Unplugged is an electrifying open mic evening showcasing the voices of young people aged 13-25! Join us for a night of creativity, self-expression, and boundless energy as we celebrate the talents of our youth community. 

The audience will be captivated by budding singers, musicians, spoken word artists and those with unique talents. From soulful melodies to thought-provoking poetry, expect a diverse range of performances that reflect the rich tapestry of local talent. 

The event is organised by Conscious Youth C.I.C an award-winning youth-led social enterprise established in 2016. The organisation runs The Corner Hub youth provision in Huddersfield Town centre and has worked with over 4,000 young people across Kirklees and wider. Their aim is to enrich the lives of young adults through mentorship, creative arts, education, cultural exploration, health and well-being and public service. 

www.consciousyouth.co.uk 

FB: @consciousyouthuk 

Twitter: @cyouthcic 

Instagram: Consciousyouthuk 

 

Date: Friday 19 April 

Time: 7pm-8pm 

Venue: Tipi, Courtyard, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street HD1 2SP 

Tickets: Free (booking required) 

Age guidance: 12+ (U16s should be accompanied by an adult) 

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

Book tickets

In partnership with:

Huddersfield Live

Charlotte Furness & Rebecca Ryan

Come and support two local authors as they discuss their work and find out about their route into being published. Charlotte Furness writes engaging non-fiction books about women’s history and country houses in the UK, while Rebecca Ryan is the author of entertaining contemporary fiction about life and love. 

 

Charlotte Furness has written two narrative non-fiction books, Lady of the House (2018) and Unmarried Women of the Country Estate (2020), both published by Pen & Sword. She is currently working on her first novel and third non-fiction book. 

 

Rebecca Ryan had a kernel of an idea for a book since she was 12 and finally sat down to write My (extra) Ordinary Life during the first Covid lockdown, while pregnant with her third baby. Her second novel, The Philosophy of Love  was published in February 2024. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

 

Date: Thursday 25 April 

Time: 6pm-7pm 

Venue: Tipi, Courtyard, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age guidance: All ages (U16 should be accompanied by an adult) 

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

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book tickets

In partnership with:

Huddersfield Live

Tipi Launch – Meet the Dragon & Dragon Queen

Join us for our Festival Tipi launch – all welcome! Meet our Dragon and Dragon Queen – prizes for the best costumes inspired by Game of Thrones characters.

PLUS a performance by Soul Choir, an inclusive local choir that sings classic soul along with a dash of blues and gospel.

AND at 7pm, a special performance from Huddersfield rapper, musician and youth music workshop founder Joel Simmy, who has worked with Huddersfield Town Foundation, performed in London and across the north, and been featured on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Capital Xtra and Kiss Fresh FM. 

The Tipi is brought to the town in partnership with Huddersfield Live and we are delighted that the Tipi will be sponsored by Huddersfield Town AFC. 

 Note: parts of this event will be livestreamed on the night. 

 We’re so excited to bring you our first ever HuddLitFest Tipi, which will act as an entertainment space and information point for this year’s Festival, as well as a drop-in bar. Huddersfield Live will be running the bar and there will be a variety of activities over the Festival dates, including talks, workshops and activities with local community and cultural organisations.  

We recommend booking for the opening night, but after that you can drop in any time during opening hours, although some activities will require booking to take part (visit our What’s On page for details).  

Following launch night, the Tipi will open daily from 11am-10pm from Thursday 18 April to Sunday 28 April, apart from Monday 22 & Tuesday 23 April: 5pm-10pm. 

About Joel Simmy 

Joel Simmy is a rapper, musician, youth music workshop founder, born and raised in Huddersfield. Joel runs a rap/creative writing workshop called Mic Champs, established to encourage young people to express their unique voices in creative ways. After working in partnership with Huddersfield Town Foundation, Huddersfield Town AFC released a final track created within the workshop at their third kit launch of 2023/24.

In September 2023, he released Here’s Your Notice, a 2-track EP centred on self-discovery, adolescence, authenticity and an outlook on the youth being misled by media, difficult upbringings and mental health. His creative expression is to show strength in vulnerability and inspire the masses to speak their truth. Joel’s music has featured on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Capital Xtra and Kiss Fresh FM and has been performed in cities such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Liverpool and Huddersfield.

Find out more about Soul Choir HERE.

 

Date: Wednesday 17 April 

Time: 5pm-10pm 

Venue: Courtyard, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age guidance: All ages (U16 should be accompanied by an adult) 

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

Book tickets

Sponsored by:

In partnership with:

Huddersfield Live

Glitter Boy – Cancelled.

We are sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled.

Polari-Prize-winning author Ian Eagleton talks about his heart-warming and inclusive story about a boy who struggles to assert his identity and sexuality in the face of opposition from school bullies and his own father. 

 James loves dancing, poetry, and Mariah Carey (not in that order, though, because Mariah would obviously be first!). His teacher, Mr Hamilton, is getting married to his boyfriend and it seems that James will be part of a surprise choir performance at the wedding. But James’s father seems uncomfortable about the plan, and a lot of other things – like any mention of Mr Hamilton, and James’s dancing, and how James talks about his new friend Joel.  

 Meanwhile, a different boy has been harassing James at school and calling him gay, and it’s getting worse every day. James can find relief with his beloved Nan, she’s been having worrying falls, and James can’t tell anyone, or she might be sent to a faraway care home. The secrets are building up, and James is starting to lose his characteristic spark. Can he find the strength to let the truth out? 

Poignant, defiantly fabulous story” The Guardian 

Ian Eagleton is the author of the acclaimed picture book Nen and the Lonely Fisherman, which was shortlisted for The Bookseller’s Book of the Year – Discovery Category 2022. 

Ian will be in conversation with Paul Burston, bestselling writer and host of the award-winning Polari LGBTQ+ literary salon and Polari prizes.

 

We are sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled.

 

 

Out + Loud Open Mic 

An open mic night for queer performers of all kinds, hosted by poetic comedian Zee.  

 From music to poetry, comedy to cabaret, email [email protected] to reserve a five-minute slot, or sign up on the night! Allies welcome to cheer on.

Out + Loud is a Huddersfield-based queer arts collective that aims to build local queer community and platforms for emerging talent. 

 

Note: this event will follow Polari: Celebrating LGBTQ+ writing talent. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

 

Date: Saturday 27 April 

Time: 9pm-10.30pm 

Venue: Small Seeds, Castlegate (New Street junction), HD1 2UD 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age Guidance: 16+ 

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

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book tickets

Book Launch: Grist  

Join us for the launch of this year’s Grist anthology, Apocalypse Now: Stories for the End of the World.  

The short story is an art form that focuses on the end of things and is thus perfectly attuned to explore catastrophes, apocalypses, and all forms of Armageddon. 

Generation after generation convince themselves their times are apocalyptic, yet the world keeps on spinning. But what if this is now really the end of the world as we know it? The symptoms of the end surround us, on both a global and individual scale. The world is finite, resources are limited. Surely one day it will all run out?  

With the threat of a Third World War imminent, global warming, overpopulation, the end of antibiotics, the terrifying developments of Artificial Intelligence, the sixth mass extinction and the end of nature, is life on Earth over? 

But what even is the apocalypse today? Does the world have to end for our times to be apocalyptic? Is the end of one thing really just the beginning of something else?  

 Apocalypse Now? is a collection of innovative short stories that explore, imagine and dramatise the end of things. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

 

Date: Thursday 25 April 

Time: 7.15pm-8.30pm 

Venue: Small Seeds, Castlegate (New Street junction), HD1 2UD 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age Guidance: 16+ 

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

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

Book tickets