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Penzance's debut literary festival
The theme of the festival this year is The Art of the Book
The theme of the festival this year is The Art of the Book

The small, coastal town of Penzance is to host its first ever literary festival.

The rich and characterful area of West Penwith is flourishing literary life.

Dozens of writers live in Penzance and in the neighbouring small towns and villages, while in Penzance alone there are more than 25 reading groups.

Hear best-selling authors talking about their work, take part in numerous workshops and view the exhibitions.

Hear best-selling authors talking about their work
Hear best-selling authors talking about their work

The theme of the festival this year is The Art of the Book, a title intended to cover prose and poetry, the interconnecting of words and pictures, and every aspect of the arts and crafts of book writing.

There is something for almost everyone at festival. Best-selling authors will be talking about their books on Cornish subjects and novels set in Cornwall, and authors who are experts in their fields talking about their enthusiasms.

There will be opportunities to hear authors who write in the same 'genre' comparing notes, and you can join in their conversations with questions of your own and workshops for aspiring poets and novelists, including a whole 'poetry day' at the Arts Club and novel-writing workshops at the Morrab Library.

At Trereife there will be demonstrations of making and illustrating books, and self-publishing and at Newlyn Art Gallery and Trereife activities for children have been arranged.

"It's not just books but the characters who write them who are on show', said festival organiser Peter Levin.

"Local authors are a quite amazing bunch of livewires. They include intrepid women adventurers, like Jane Johnson, who lives for half the year in Mousehole and the other half in Morocco with her Berber tribesman husband, whom she met while researching the fate of an ancestor of hers who was abducted from Penzance by Barbary pirates in 1625 and sold into slavery in north Africa.

Everyone who is speaking or running a workshop is both passionate about their subject and very, very good at communicating their passion
Jane West, co-organiser of the festival

"Helena Paterson, whose search for original material has involved climbing up Mayan temples, falling down a tunnel shaft which led to a newly discovered tomb in 'The Valley of the Kings' in Egypt, and spending time in the Australian bush and mango swamps with Aboriginal medicine doctors; and Emily Barr, who backpacked around the world while writing a travel column for The Guardian.

Jane West, co-organiser of the festival and herself a noted children's writer, added:

"Everyone who is speaking or running a workshop is both passionate about their subject and very, very good at communicating their passion.

"And you don't just have to sit and listen. There will be many opportunities for the audience to take part, from writing workshops to 'authors in conversation' sessions where you can join in, to the 'Big Read' - with the chance to join a one-off reading group and discuss Patrick Gale's book Notes from an Exhibition - and an open mic poetry session at the Penzance Arts Club's Poetry Day.

Whether you're a published poet, an unpublished poet, or a hitherto completely secret poet, it's a chance to come and perform your stuff in a delightful, intimate venue before an appreciative audience."

Essential infomation

The festival will run from Wednesday, August 18th to Sunday, August 22nd, 2010.

On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, events will take place at a number of venues in the centre of Penzance, as well as at Newlyn along the coast.

At the weekend, the festival will move out to Trereife Park, on the outskirts of Penzance, where it will share the venue with the annual Design Fair.




SEE ALSO
Port Eliot Festival 2010
19 Jul 10 |  Things to do

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