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Literary feast for Wymondham

PUBLISHED: 10:05 08 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:35 16 September 2010

Dozens of award-winning writers and poets will be heading to Wymondham to take part in the town's inaugural literary festival.

Wymondham Words 2010, which will run from September 17 to 19, will feature names such as Anthony Thwaite and Moniza Alvi.

Dozens of award-winning writers and poets will be heading to Wymondham to take part in the town's inaugural literary festival.

Wymondham Words 2010, which will run from September 17 to 19, will feature names such as Anthony Thwaite and Moniza Alvi.

The project has been organised by the Wymondham Arts Forum, spearheaded by town resident and poet George Szirtes who has used his connections to attract some of the best writers from across the region.

Mr Szirtes has so far published 14 books of poetry and many translations from Hungarian literature. He was the youngest winner of the Faber Prize for his first book The Slant Door in 1980 and took away the T.S.Elliot Prize for poetry in 2005.

The festival will be centred at Becket's Chapel - the 12th century home of Wymondham's Arts Centre.

“There's been a music festival for some time. As part of the music festival we have done one or two literary events and there are in Norfolk a great many writers,” said Mr Szirtes.

“In Wymondham we have a nice arts centre in Becket's Chapel and we're looking for the best use of it. It's a good performance space. I'm a writer and know some other writers so it was easier for me to ask them to take part.”

The festival opens at the Arts Centre with an event called 'Seven of the Best' showcasing the talents of some of the UK's best young poets - Nathan Hamilton, Luke Kennard, Matthew Gregory, Tim Cockburn, Agnes Lehoczky, Vahni Capildeo and Jack Underwood.

On September 18 the Arts Centre will host 'Place and Occasion' in which Anthony Thwaite, whose Collected Poems draws on 50 years' work, and Moniza Alvi, who has been T.S.Elliot and Whitbread Poetry Prize short-listed, will read.

Visitors can then travel to The Feathers pub on Town Green where Norwich-based poets Helen Ivory and Martin Figura will perform.

That day there will also be workshops dedicated to young readers taken by sixth form students at Wymondham College, which will include reading, drama and creative writing.

A photographic competition called 'Read', organised by Wymondham High School and Wymondham Library, is already underway where entrants are asked to take images of people reading in unusual circumstances or of something inspired by reading.

A life writing workshop will also be held at the Town Green Centre, called 'Bringing the Past to Life: writing a memoir or biography' run by Midge Gillies, who has written biographies on Marie Lloyd and Amy Johnson.

He will be joined at the Arts Centre in the afternoon by fellow biographer Ann Thwaite for a reading.

The Arts Centre will also host a reading and talk called 'The Story Walking' attended by novelists Henry Sutton and Rebecca Stott.

Children's authors Mick Gowar and Paeony Lewis will also be sharing some of their stories with youngsters in Wymondham Library through the day.

The festival will end on September 19 with Mr Szirtes presenting some of his poems to a personal audience in the Arts Centre.

Programmes and tickets for Wymondham Words 2010 are available from The Book Fountain by calling 01953 603663. Further details can be found at www.wymondhamarts.com


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