Wolverhampton Literature Festival set to return this month

By Thomas Parkes | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Wolverhampton Literature Festival is returning for its fourth year, bringing – and it promises to be as exciting as ever.

Cerys Matthews

More than 70 events will be packed into three days, starting from January 31, in venues across the city.

It will see a range of talks, a musical dance adventure, and poetry events take place – with Welsh singer Cerys Matthews being one of the star attractions.

While the main festival is packed into three days from January 31, a few events are being held beforehand.

Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists was today taking to the centre of Wolverhampton to promote their show tonight, with 15 poets performing at the city's Arena Theatre between 7.30pm to 10pm.

Michael Rosen, one of Britain's best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults, will discuss how to understand a story – dissecting the narrative of stories. It will take place at the Chancellors Hall in the Wulfruna Building at the University of Wolverhampton between 2pm to 4pm on January 30.

Bake Off presenter and comedian Sandi Toksvig will bring her one-woman comedy show to the Grand Theatre on Monday at 7.30pm telling her tales, jokes – with a Q&A and a quiz at the end.

Sandi Toksvig has a new string to her bow – being a politican. She will be telling all at the Symphony Hall next week

Welsh musician and BBC broadcaster Cerys Matthews will take to the stage at the Slade Rooms to mark the first day of the festival proper on January 31. The artist, a founder member of Catatonia, will showcase her love of food, poetry and music and will share her culinary knowledge.


It comes as she looks to promote her new book, Where the Wild Cooks Go. She will sign books after the event, held between 7pm to 8pm.

Former Express & Star Wolves correspondent David Instone will share his stories about the club at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on the same day, between 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

A lively panel discussion – featuring multi-award winning artist and producer Dawinder Bansal – will discuss British Asian artists and art. The Invisible Voices: The Art of South Asian Activists will take place at the city's art gallery from 7pm to 8.15pm.

The Antipoet and Nick Lovell, the headline poetry event at the festival, will visit the same venue between 8pm to 9.30pm. The event will see The Antipoet, Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman, perform alongside Mr Lovell who is a part-time commentator.


On Saturday, author Natalie Pritchard will take to Penn Library between 10am to 11am for a story-time session with her new picture-book Monty The Manatee.

Wolverhampton's contribution to the circus world will be showcased with a talk held at the city's art gallery. It will be held by author Ned Williams, who published a book on the topic, between 10.30am to 11.30am.

Performing artist Sohan Kailey will perform songs from his new album Let's Naach and will take visitors on an interactive dance and story experience. He has performed with stars from CBeebies, CBBC, CITV, Milkshake TV and will visit the library in Warstones from 11am to 11.45, Bilston at 1pm to 1.45pm and Wolverhampton central library from 3pm to 3.45pm.

Wolves' own Carl Ikeme will be at Waterstones in the city to sign copies of his book Why Not Me? between 12pm and 2pm.

The man who discovered and signed popular 90s band Oasis, Alan McGee, will give a talk on his career at the Slade Rooms at 8.30pm. He is best known for co-founding and running the independent Creation Records label and has been a music blogger for The Guardian.

On the last day of the festival, Professor Johannes-Dieter Steinert of University of Wolverhampton will present a lecture on the liberation of Auschwitz. Hundreds of testimonies of the concentration camp have been analysed – with the talk focused on children's living and working experiences, as well as their chances of survivor. It will take place at the art gallery from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

A discussion regarding the lives of the working class will take place at the city's art gallery, featuring the city's poet laureate Emma Purshouse. She will be joined by Paul Allen, Lynne Voyce, and Lisa Blower for the event between 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

The festival has been supported by the Express & Star, Wolverhampton Council, the University of Wolverhampton and Arts Council England.

For more information and for a full list of events click here.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at


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