I’m Lyndsey Fineran, the Literature Festival Programme Manager.
We truly believe there’s something everyone in the programme and I’m particularly excited to present some of my poetry picks and highlights from our Festival Lates.
The leading lights of the country’s poetry and spoken word scene are dropping by throughout the festival. Lemn Sissay and Jackie Kay, Hollie McNish, Luke Wright, Inua Ellams all perform solo shows; we present incredible showcases by Out-Spoken and Burning Eye presses and lauded names including John Burnside, Michael Symmons Roberts, Kayo Chingonyi and Andrew McMillan read from their new collections elsewhere in the programme.
The US storytelling phenomenon comes to Cheltenham for the very first time. From ordinary folk to established writers, the stage is open to anyone with flair for the telling of tales. Join us for one special night of true live stories, all around the chosen theme of belonging.
Our night of free literary mayhem! Born in San Francisco and now an anticipated literary night in major cities around the world, Lit Crawl blends a bar crawl with bookish content held in a series of quirky locations – all in one night, all totally free. Expect everything from ghost stories to flash fiction, zine workshops to comedy all culminating in a big after-party with a spoken word finale and the roof-raising Kansas Smitty’s House Band.
The Glastonbury, Roundhouse and Edinburgh Fringe stars make their first appearance at Cheltenham and bring together the UK’s sharpest poets, storytellers, rappers and comedians to perform with improvised soundtracks from the genre-hopping Tongue Fu band. With incredible guest performers including award-winning saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch, this is one show you don’t want to miss.
One to kick off your weekend with! An evening of hip-hop-inspired poems and favourite hip-hop songs, featuring live performances by Caleb Femi, Arielle John, Paul Cree, Malaika Kegode, Anna Freedman, Craft-D, Pete The Temp, Remi Grave and Theresa Lola with DJ Sid Mercutio.