All items: festivals

In an increasingly homogenised and uniform world rare and distinctive voices are especially needful. Sometimes those voices may be complex, difficult, troubling, but who wants to read a bland book?
How fantastic it would be for the writer to be granted an impossible insider's view; to hitch a ride on the tailcoat of her words and hear her reader's synapses crackle.

Caitlin Davies and her father Hunter Davies let us eavesdrop on a conversation about their respective writing careers, being compulsive writers in a family of writers and generational changes in the publishing industry.

Donny O’Rourke visits old haunts in Dumfries and the Borders, ghosted by the bards of Scotland’s past, for the liminal Celtic festival of Samhain.

Julian Turner considers the usefulness of imagination, not just to the writer, but also to the exile and the abused child, and suggests that metaphorical thinking may be psychologically essential.

Michael McMillan charts his beginnings as a writer and artist, and the ambivalence of a double consciousness, of being British yet not feeling at home in the place one was born in, as a recurring theme in his work.

Donny O'Rourke takes us to Edinburgh in August, for a Lughnasadh harvest festival — but one of culture, not of crops.

Tiffany Murray flees the over-familiar, but still creatively disabling, complaints of a despondent writer, by escaping to the strange new world of Iceland and its music.

His diary of being a Jewish teenager in Vienna in 1938; a writer doesn't have to be famous to make you think, and feel, and remember their work. I read George Clare's book only once, but I've never been able to forget it.

Donny O'Rourke takes in the ‘simmer dim’ in Orkney, a land of subtle greens and long histories, for the midsummer solstice festival of Litha.

Hugh Thomson splashes down in London’s famous Serpentine, where hardy and mostly convivial outdoor swimmers share a unisex changing room and run a regular gauntlet of swans.