In this triumphant year for Crickhowell, voted not only the best High Street In Wales but also in the UK, the Crickhowell Literary Festival makes its own idiosyncratic contribution to the Town’s successes.
Supported by local businesses and Friends, the Festival brings a bustle of energy to the High Street as personalities, authors, poets, historians, politicians, and experts in many fields wander through local shops and eating houses to soak up the warmth and hospitality that makes this community so special.
The programme this year is the most diverse and vibrant yet: Radio and TV personalities, Roy Noble and Annette Badland (currently playing the forensic pathologist in Midsomer Murders) will speak about their particular passions; lovers of historical fiction will hear the UK’s best-selling female historian, Alison Weir, speak on Six Tudor Queens, and readers of best-selling fiction will hear Kate Hamer, Bridget Collins and Joanna Nadim discuss their very latest books.
Those of you keen to hone your own skills at writing fiction will be fascinated to hear blockbuster author Tasmina Perry talk about just how she became so successful in her field; Tyler Keevil illustrate how authentic settings will improve your fiction, and Gwen Davies and Julia Foster giving a book-pitch surgery.
The politically motivated will be gripped by Darryl Leeworthy, Simon Lancaster, Brian Brivati and Tom Gatehouse tackling serious issues that range from global violence to the language of power. The Festival often serves as a barometer for public interest, and this year a group of events exploring pertinent medical issues include Dr Matt Morgan, Dr Mike Shooter and Giles Croft discussing a range of physical and psychological issues that affect our everyday lives.
Old favourites, of course, endure, and experienced literary critics will explore not only the enduring appeal of Jane Eyre but also the powerful pull of contemporary heavyweight writers such as Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwen, who each have hot off-the-press novels out this year. (Unsurprisingly), in the centenary year of her birth, Iris Murdoch’s work will make a few guest appearances.
Crime Fiction is a habitual best seller at the Festivals, and this year will be no exception as Ambrose Parry and Andrew Wilson respectively explore fictional and factual murder mysteries. The icing on the cake, though, will be an entire day with ‘Crime Cymru’, a group of Welsh crime writers who celebrate the significance of Wales and Welsh culture in the Wider world.
And finally, don’t miss the Festival’s fifth anniversary celebration event on Saturday 5th October with internationally best-selling crime writer, Sophie Hannah, returning by popular request to enjoy a glass of prosecco and a magnificent firework display, courtesy of Webbs of Crickhowell and the Dragon Inn.