Saturday, 1 October 2016

Durham Book Festival - Commissions and residencies

The latest New Writing North newsletter features details of commissions and residencies at Durham Book Festival:


    September 2016
Durham Book Festival
Commissions and residencies at Durham Book Festival
Durham Book Festival is renowned for its original work from writers and performers, and this year is no exception. Musician Kathryn Williams has collaborated with a group of exceptional poets and novelists on a special project, the results of which will premier at the Gala Theatre on Saturday 15 October.
Kathryn will also perform her album Hypoxia at Durham Town Hall on Saturday 8 October, originating from songs that she originally wrote as part of a commission at Durham Book Festival in 2013.
Hey, Presto!, our touring theatre production for children under seven and their families, is well underway—with performances taking place in County Durham, Cumbria, Manchester and Northumberland over the coming week. To find a performance near you, visit
Along with our original commissions, this year we have gone all out to bring you a publisher in residence (Unbound), a reader in residence (Andy Miller) and a songwriter in residence (Kathryn Williams). Behind the scenes our reviewers in residence and vlogger in residence will be capturing some of the atmosphere of the festival.
We hope that you can join us to enjoy some of these extraordinary original commissions and residencies.
Unbound: The Wisdom of Crowds
Sunday 9 October, 11am-12pm, Durham Town Hall (Burlison Gallery)
Publisher John Mitchinson talks to Unbound authors Nikesh Shukla and Alice Jolly about the trials and tribulations of crowd-funding a book. Is fiction harder than nonfiction? Do readers want their books with a side of dosa? And just how much tweeting more
Backlisted Podcast: Live!
Saturday 8 October, 1.30pm-2.30pm, Gala Theatre Studio
Backlisted is a popular literary podcast that gives new life to old books. Join Unbound publisher and QI co-creator John Mitchinson, publisher Mathew Clayton, and our Reader in Residence, Andy Miller, plus a special guest for a fascinating and funny discussion of more
Nikesh Shukla, Coco Khan and Miss L: The Good Immigrant
Sunday 9 October, 2.30pm–3.30pm, Durham Town Hall
Durham Book Festival is proud to present this extraordinary state of the nation collection, from 21 diverse and exciting British BAME voices. The collection was crowd-funded by Unbound in just three days, with more
Kathryn Williams: Hypoxia
Saturday 8 October, 7.30pm-8.30pm, Durham Town Hall
In 2013 Durham Book Festival commissioned acclaimed musician Kathryn Williams to write a sequence of songs inspired by Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar to mark its 50th anniversary. Over the next two years, more
Songwriter in Residence: Kathryn Williams and Friends
Saturday 15 October, 4pm–5.30pm, Gala Theatre
This year’s major book festival commission brings together a group of leading singer-songwriters with a group of exceptional poets and novelists more
Knee Deep
Saturday 15 October, 7.15pm-8.15pm, Empty Shop HQ
Poet Jasmine Simms and theatre director Tess Denman-Cleaver curate readings by local young poets who are challenging the way poetry is performed, exploring what it means to write for performance rather than more
Festival Laureate: Helen Mort
Saturday 15 October, 6pm–7pm, Palace Green Library
Each year Durham Book Festival works in partnership with Durham University to invite an acclaimed poet to fulfil the role of Festival Laureate. This year we are more
Kes introduced by Andy Miller and Stephen Regan
Monday 10 October, 2pm-4.30pm, Gala Theatre
Join our Reader in Residence Andy Miller and Durham University’s Professor Stephen Regan who will introduce a special screening of Kes, directed by Ken Loach. Andy and Stephen are both huge fans of the film and will talk more
Andy Miller: What Makes a Classic?
Sunday 9 October, 10.30am–11.30am, Durham Town Hall
Why do some books become classics and others fall by the wayside? Who decides what makes a great book – critics or the public? What are the classics of the future? Join Andy Miller, our Reader in Residence and author more
An Hour of Reading Dangerously: 10 Great Books in 55 minutes with Andy Miller
Saturday 8 October, 11.30am–12.30pm, Palace Green Library
At last year’s festival, author Andy Miller delivered his hilarious motivational lecture Read Y’self Fitter to a packed house. more
Matt Miller: Sticking
Sunday 9 October, 1.30pm-2.30pm Gala Theatre Studio
A solo spoken word theatre show about moving away from home for the first time. Are we stuck with who we are or can we dive into the unknown and become someone else? Drawing on the artist’s experience of his first three more
TippingPoint: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell
Sunday 9 October, 11am-12pm, Palace Green Library
We hear many stories about climate change – from scientists, economists and environmentalists. But what can the worlds of fiction, more
Where Does The Power Lie in The Media?
Saturday 8 October, 1.30pm-2.30pm, Palace Green Library
This event explores where the power currently lies in the media we consume, particularly in the North of England. Northern Correspondent editor Ian Wylie presents a newly commissioned essay and will be joined more
Carmen Marcus: The Book of Godless Verse
Saturday 8 October, 3.30pm-4.30pm, Durham Town Hall (Burlison Gallery)
In 2015 Carmen Marcus was named a BBC Radio 3 Verb New Voice for her project The Book of Godless Verse. As a lapsed Catholic, Carmen wanted to find a way to witness the more
Kamal Kaan: As the Cloud Takes its Last Breath
Saturday 8 October, At 10, 30 and 50 minutes past the hour between 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, St Chad's College Chapel
Durham Book Festival invites you to take some time out of your busy lives and to step into the tranquil surroundings of St Chad’ more
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