The Festival: 3rd - 9th November 2019 | Tickets: 01308 424901|

Author Talk

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  • Rosanna Ley and Maria Donovan join Gail Aldwin on this panel session to share their experiences of writing about place in fiction. Location is integral to all Rosanna Ley’s books - her settings include West Dorset and Cornwall as well as abroad. Her latest novel: The Lemon Tree is set in Italy. Maria Donovan draws on memory, observation and imagination to create a sense of place and her debut novel: The Chicken Soup Murder is set in a fictional version of her home town Bridport. Gail Aldwin is Chair of the Dorset Writers Network and her latest work of fiction: The String Games is a coming of age novel set in England and France – sure to be a best seller.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 3.00 pm
    Where: The Bridport Library, South St, Bridport, DT6 3NY
  • In the depths of winter in 1705, the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey on foot to Lubeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles.  This journey was pivotal in the life of the Master of the Baroque. More than three hundred years later, Horatio Clare set off to recreate the walk, following in Bach’s footsteps. Something of his Art is an evocation of what the young composer would have experienced.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ball Room, East St, Bridport DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: John and Felicity Fairbairn
  • In May this year, it was announced that the West Yorkshire poet, Simon Armitage, one of the most celebrated poets of his generation, had been appointed the UK’s 21st Poet Laureate. Armitage said then that he had no hesitation in accepting the role. “It’s a big commitment and I feel I’ve been writing the kind of public-facing, public-occasion poetry that this role will require, for quite a long time”.  His exciting new volume of poems brings together a selection of work  which stands outside of his mainstream publications. Contents include single set pieces such as Zodiac T Shirt, several are site specific – some set in the Pennine landscape, and others developed from collaborations with film directors and visual artists together with  large scale literary projects such as the poet’s troubadour journeys walking across the UK.  As well as representing the nature and scale of his output,  Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic demonstrates Armitage’s commitment to collaboration, his role of public engagement and a belief in poetry as an act of communication.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Martin and Lindsay  Bowdery
  • Jason inherited his love of adventure and an exploratory addiction to food and how to grow, harvest and enjoy it from his late mother, the writer Jocasta Innes. She was a polymath of ideas for homemaking and how to live life to the full. Her book: Paint Magic is a classic for anyone wishing to decorate their home and a copy of The Pauper’s Cookbook is a Bible for everyone who enjoys food without the extravagance. Jason talks about his Mother’s influence on his life and has recently republished one of her cookery books: The Country Kitchen. His talk will be followed by a delicious feast based on his Mother’s recipes. With 3 course dinner. Please telephone Sladers Yard (01308 459511) for reservations.
    When: Tuesday 5th November 2019 @ 7.00 pm
    Where: Sladers Yard, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport DT6 4EL
    Extra: With Dinner +£28 
    Sponsor: Harold Carter | Tess Silkstone
  • Olivia Glazebrook is a journalist, screenwriter, film and book critic. Her first novel The Trouble with Alice met with great critical acclaim. Olivia is one of Dorset’s rich seam of talented writers and we are delighted to have her with us to talk about her latest book: The Frank Business. Frank drops down dead at Heathrow Arrivals on Christmas Eve. His estranged daughter is called to identify the body and is left wondering why he was travelling to London from France in the first place. So begins a story of the chaotic nature of relationships when pasts are unmasked.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
  • Theme: The Rise of Nationalism: What does the future hold?

    Award winning journalist and writer, Matt Frei, is Europe Editor and Presenter at Channel 4 News.  He is also part of the wider presenting team across Channel 4’s news and current affairs portfolio, including the Dispatches programme series.  He has led coverage of major news items from all over the world including the tension in the Ukraine  resulting from the  crash of Malaysia flight MH17 and reporting ‘live’ from the Crimea on Kiev’s bloodiest day. More recently, Matt has covered the friction in Hong Kong with China and continues to find himself  reporting from many turbulent parts of the world.

    Prior to his current role, Matt was Washington Correspondent for two years and this led to the coverage of the Americas on everything from business and culture to US foreign policy and its view of the world.  He headed up Channel 4’s coverage of the 2012 US Presidential election including a documentary: The American Road Trip: Obama’s Story and followed this in 2016 with a documentary investigating Donald Trump and those that surround him: The Mad World of Donald Trump.  Undoubtedly, he will be covering the next Presidential election and the implications on the ‘special relationship’ with the UK.

    Matt speaks several European languages fluently, which surprises many of the European heads of state. He is the author of Italy: the Unfinished Revolution and contributed with authors like Will Self and Ian McEwan to Goodbye Europe. He was voted RTS TV Journalist of the Year 2015 and 2017 and has won an Emmy, a BAFTA, a Dupont and a Peabody.  He is London based but has a very special affection for West Dorset through his wife, Penny, and her links with Bridport. We are all delighted to welcome Matt Frei to the Bridport Literary Festival.

    George Millar DSO MC, Croix de Guerre and Legion d’Honneur - The Literary Dinner is held every year in memory of George Millar who for 50 years lived in West Dorset until his death in 2005. His war memoirs and his books on sailing are still in print and continue to be enjoyed by generations of readers of all ages.

    When: Thursday 7th November 2019 @ 7.00 pm
    Where: The Tithe Barn, Mill Ln, Symondsbury, Bridport DT6 6HG
    Sponsor: Furleigh Estate | The Symondsbury Estate
  • Writer, broadcaster, polymath, Melvyn Bragg’s award winning series: The South Bank Show is the longest running arts programme (1978-2019)on British television and has also been acclaimed as the best. His BBC Radio 4 series: In Our Time is a masterclass in the history of ideas and one of the most popular podcasts available. His latest novel: Love Without End re-imagines the legendary love story of Heloise and Abelard, and breathes fresh life into one of the most remarkable and enduring passions, uniting the middle ages with today.  Heloise, a brilliant scholar, arrives in Paris in the year 1117 and falls passionately in love with the young radical philosopher, Abelard - their dangerous love affair incurs terrible retribution. Nine centuries later Arthur, an English academic, arrives in Paris to revisit the story, and finds that his connection with the subject is more emotional than he cares to admit.

    When: Friday 8th November 2019 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Jim and Sarah Wild
  • Award winning political commentator, columnist, journalist and broadcaster Steve Richards is considered to be one of the most respected, influential and talented interpreters of the Westminster scene. His popular podcast: Rock ‘N Roll Politics has now become an acclaimed One Man Show and he is a regular political pundit on various television and radio programmes. Steve likes to involve the audience with interactive dialogue and exchanges. His new book: The Prime Ministers: Reflections on Leadership is a landmark history of the men and women - from Heath to May -who have defined the UK’s role in the modern world.  At a time of unprecedented political upheaval, Steve analyses who leads and who doesn’t and why, and brilliantly brings to life the inhabitants of 10 Downing Street over the past fifty years. Has our new Prime Minister got the the essential leadership skills to face the future?

    When: Saturday 9th November 2019 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Johnnie Boden