Belfast Book Festival has just launched its programme. Running between 13 and 19 June and based in and around the Crescent Arts Centre, the festival is “intent on capturing the literary energy of the city in a week-long celebration of the writer and the reader”.
There are a whole series of events for young bookworms with free storytelling in the Storybook Cafe on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19, a one hour Nearly True Tales Tour around the Cathedral Quarter meeting characters from children’s books (£5/£3) and a reading by Nicola Pierce from her new book Spirit of the Titanic in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at 2pm on Tuesday 14 (£6/£4) which is also hosting the major Titanica exhibitions at present.
Ciarán Carson and guests (including Glenn Patterson) play music, sing, recite poetry and read prose at 7.30pm on Monday 13. (£8/£6 with nibbles provided)
On Wednesday 15 at 8pm there’s a Memoir Debate: Don’t Look Back – featuring Tony Macaulay (The Paperboy), Tim Brannigan (Where Are You Really From?) and Malachi O’Doherty (I was a Teenage Catholic and others). (£8/£6)
Hugh Jordan is in conversation with PA journalist Deric Henderson who’s been tracking the story of Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart which will feature in his forthcoming book Let This Be Our Secret. Tuesday 14 at 1pm. (£6/£4)
A book of Irish-language short stories with parallel English translations - Bás in Éirinn – May You Die in Ireland – will be launched on Thursday 16 at 6pm in Belfast Exposed. Edited and translated by Aodán MacPóilin and Róise Ní Bhaoill, and published by ULTACH Trust, the book features stories from Liam O’Flaherty, Dáithí Ó Muirí amongst others, all dealing with death. But as MacPóilin explains, “there’s more comedy in the book than tragedy: Irish writers never have any difficulty with death - it’s love they can’t handle!” (free)
It’s rare for any festival in Belfast to ignore films or buses! The QFT will be showing various literary classics during the festival week including Brighton Rock, Ulysses, Rebecca and To Kill a Mocking Bird. And the Literary Bus Tour of Belfast leaves the front of the Crescent Arts Centre at 10.30 on Tuesday 14. (£10)
Duke Special and Guests close the festival on Sunday 19 at 8pm. Book early. (£10)
And if all that’s not enough to tickle your literary taste buds, there’s a Pecha Kucha Night in aid of reconstruction following the Japanese earthquake, the Wireless Mystery Theatre are putting on a live performance of The Return Room, and there’s a Book Festival Quiz night.