The Belfast Book Festival is back and this year it’s bigger and better than ever.
Running from June 8-14 and based at the Crescent Arts Centre the festival is full of literary events including workshops, book readings, poetry events, theatre and more.
With over 100 events across the city from politics/current affairs, sport and sci-fi to Irish literary fiction, music and travel organisers promise there will be something for everyone.
Also back is the Literary Lunchtime events as well as the Family Fun Day for the junior book worms.
10 Fab Reasons To Check Out The Belfast Book Festival:
1. Cameron’s Coup with Noel Thompson
June 12, Crescent Arts Centre, £8
Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian and Derek Walker is a contributing editor to the Guardian Public and former director of public reporting at the Audit Commission. They have co-authored many books including their recent book Cameron’s Coup. Written with their trademark precision and passion, Toynbee and Walker reveal how, in four short years, a party that failed to win a Commons majority has been devastatingly effective.
2. Duke Special and Andrew Doyle
June 8, Lyric Theatre, £8
Platinum-selling singer songwriter Duke Special and writer/comedian Andrew Doyle discuss their new musical adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travel, which will be staged at The Lyric Theatre in Belfast later this year by Youth Music Theatre UK.
3. Losing it: Helen Lederer
June 13, Crescent Arts Centre, £8
Best known for her role as dippy Catriona in Absolutely Fabulous, as well as creating ‘Girl at the bar’ in Naked Video, this event will feature Helen discussing her debut comedy novel: Losing It. Stephen Fry described it as ‘Desperately funny, desperately engaging, desperately readable and desperately adorable.’ Losing it is the hilarious story of Millie, agony aunt for ‘The Good Woman Magazine’. In debt, divorced and desperate, she’s about to lose her house. Worse, she has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn’t want.
4. Tariq Ali: The Extreme Centre: A Warning in conversation with Seamus McKee
June 8, Crescent Arts Centre, £10
In conversation with Seamus McKee, Britain’s leading radical delivers an eviscerating attack on the indistinguishable political elite of the UK. Tariq Ali has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen.
5. Chrissie Gittins
June 11, Eason, Belfast, Free
Age 6+ – Trapped wasps, sweet-smelling pirates and embarrassing dads: anything is possible in poetry. Come and hear one of the brightest children’s poets around as she delves into two decades of her best work; Chrissie Gittins’ three collections for children were all chosen for the PBS Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, and she has twice been shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award.
June 9-21, Crescent Arts Centre, Free
SacrumProfanum combines contemporary music, poetry, video installation and visual art, fieldwork reportage and innovative publication design in a large-scale multimedia performance and exhibition responding to the enigmatic sheela-na-gig stone carvings.
7. Mark Thomas – 100 acts of minor dissent – The Book
June 12, Empire, £10
Mark Thomas is well versed in the art of creative mayhem and over the years his troublemaking has changed laws, cost companies millions and annoyed those who most deserved to be. In this event, part book reading/part stand up, Mark launches is new book celebrating the year’s activity.
8. Tom Hingley – Carpet Burns: My life with Inspiral Carpets with Ralph McLean
June 8, Black Box, £6
Tom Hingley discusses what it’s like to be in the eye of a pop hurricane and what happens when the hits end & the arguments kick in. Includes a live acoustic set of an eclectic mix of old Manchester classics, Blues originals and standards.
9. Glenn Patterson: Here’s me here
June 13, Crescent Arts Centre, Free
Join us for the launch of Here’s Me Here: Further Reflections of a Lapsed Protestant featuring a wide and thought-provoking selection of Glenn Patterson’s writings. With his trademark wit and intelligence, Patterson offers his wry take on life on this planet – from Northern Ireland to Berlin, from Warsaw to Dublin and back again to Belfast. Boldly written with fresh perspectives, Here’s Me Here is packed with charm and honesty, humour and cutting insight.
10. Jason Lewis – The first human-powered circumnavigation of the earth
June 11, Crescent Arts Centre, £6
Jason Lewis is an explorer, author, and sustainability campaigner. He is recognised by Guinness World Records as the first person to circumnavigate the Earth using only human power: walking, cycling, and inline skating five continents, and kayaking, swimming, rowing, and pedalling a boat across the rivers, seas, and oceans.