Wolverhampton Literature Festival
Friday 3rd February - Sunday 5th February, 2023
Wow! The Wolverhampton Literature Festival, running from Friday 3rd of February until Sunday 5th of February is turning seven years old. 2023 sees bigger star turns than ever, and a vast array of eclectic literary events shoehorned into three and a bit days… The and a bit day is thanks to the brilliant local poetry group, Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists, led by Steve Pottinger, Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse, presenting their Poetry Slam on the weekend before the festival on Saturday Jan 28th at Wolverhampton's Arena Theatre (tickets here).
Saturday February 4th
Are there bigger, more charismatic indie superstars than Miki Berenyi? Miki was the singer, songwriter and guitarist with seminal 80s/90s pop band, Lush. A band Miki formed with her school friend that went on to global acclaim. Miki’s current band is Piroshka, their most recent LP, Love Drips and Gathers (Bella Union) was widely praised when it was released in 2021. The original and still the best you might say. Miki’s memoir, Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me from Success was published in 2022, and shows Miki to be a powerful and engaging storyteller, and oh what a story Miki has to tell.
“Much more than your average rock autobiography, Miki explores with great honesty how music became the route out from a troubled childhood, marked by neglect, frequent relocation and abuse. Told through frank confession, wry humour and emotional honesty, this is the remarkable, beautifully told story of a trailblazing woman in an often infuriatingly male world.”
Saturday 4 February
Newhampton Arts Centre
£7.50 (plus booking fee) here⇒
Sunday evening sees Scottish author and living legend, Irvine Welsh, drop into the festival. It’s now 30 years since his iconic debut novel, the million-selling Trainspotting hit the shelves. Trainspotting changed the world I think, a little like Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut single Upside Down changed commercial perceptions of success in indie rock. Subsequently, Irvine Welsh has produced countless thought-provoking, bestselling and award-winning novels, films, plays and screen adaptations. At the Festival, he’ll reflect on Trainspotting’s much-loved antiheroes Renton, Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud - I wonder whether he ever gets tired of talking about them. Like Neil Diamond playing Sweet Caroline for the umpteenth time; and discuss The Long Knives, the highly anticipated second instalment in his Crime trilogy. His stunning new thriller continues the story of Ray Lennox, the troubled Edinburgh detective recently immortalised by Dougray Scott in the 2021 TV adaptation Irvine Welsh’s Crime.
I have to say I loved his introduction to the 2014 version of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. An introduction that completely changed how I read the book. Thanks for that, Irvine.
Sunday 5th February
Time: 7pm – 8pm
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
£14 (plus booking fee) here⇒
Soul II Soul were part of a redefinition of UK contemporary culture with their London club nights and music releases including the mesmeric Back To Life which remains one of the greatest pop singles of all time.
Jazzie B’s memoir, A Happy Face. A Thumpin’ Bass, For A Lovin’ Race tells the story of how a London kid became a worldwide star and earned an OBE. Quite a coup for the festival to have secured an in-person appearance.
Friday 3 February
Newhampton Arts Centre
£15 (plus booking fee) here⇒
Also not to be missed, but also not to be written about here because of time constraints and it is tax prep weekend…
Friday: Literacy, Censorship and Burning Books: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451⇒
Saturday: Poetry For Protest⇒
Sunday: Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists - Yes We Can’t⇒
And way more besides. Check the Festival website for further details on the many, many events…
Main image Miki Berenyi cover art from Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me from Success, available here⇒
Wolverhampton Literature Festival Website, here⇒
I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.
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