Talking About Humber Mouth – Hull Literature Festival

Humber Mouth Hull’s annual Literature Festival starts November 6 and continues over 10 days in the city. A good friend asked me this week why it was called Humber Mouth. I responded that we live beside the Humber Estuary and Humber Mouth is about bringing many different voices to the city, to share their love for and encourage engagement with, the written and spoken word. Nov 6th Humber Mouth Launch Night will take place at Central Library 6pm and is free to all.

Sunspots-Simon-Barraclough-1024x480-847x397Is the Sun afraid of dying? Not a question that troubles us ordinarily, but maybe it should be? Visitors to the launch event will experience Sunspots, described as a poetic, musical and visual journey from the birth of the sun through its long and eventful life, towards its ultimate death.

With increased solar flare activity and recent reports circulating about dark patches being observed on the surface of the sun, the multimedia show by Simon Barraclough, resident poet from Mullard Space Science Laboratory, is timely indeed.

mcgee-brown-1024x480-847x397The name that immediately got tongues wagging was that of Alan McGee founder of Creation Records. Hugely influential in the music industry, a pioneering record label boss who signed: Jesus and the Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis and in the process, changed the look and sound of popular music.

Mon 16 Nov: Alan McGee will be in conversation with James Brown (no, not that one) James Brown the former features editor for the NME. Himself a maverick responsible for bringing LOADED and ‘Laddism‘ in the nineties, and more recently Sabotage Times to switched-on online culture consumers.

November-Festival-1024x480-847x397Sun 15 Nov: Writer, musician poet, antiquarian, Julian Cope will be working his magic on our very own Russ Litten, as they talk about the Teardop Explodes singer’s new novel One Three One, a road trip around, hooliganism, acid house, time travel and power of rock n roll. Mind bending stuff. So far so music, you say?

Fri 13 Nov: The most exciting event, to my mind, is Roger McGough and Brian Patten together in the same room. They of Scaffold fame – along with the late Adrian Henri – brought poetry to the masses in 1967, with the UK’s best-selling anthology The Mersey Sound Penguin Modern Poets No 10.

mcgough-and-patten-1024x480-847x397Playing to sold out audiences in theatres and colleges, they continue to inspire and excite fans old and new, with scintillating readings and performances. In a special twist Roger and Brian will be reading their Top 20 Most Requested Poems. The beat, most certainly does, go on.

ian_mcmillan-1024x480-847x397Tues 10 Nov: Firm favourite Ian McMillan is returning with a new show Neither Nowt Nor Summat: In search of the Meaning of Yorkshire. Seems we are all, right about now, exploring our sense of self: our identity both individually and collectively. Ian invites you to join him and the Cudworth Probus Club, a kazoo playing train guard, Mad Geoff the barber and four Saddleworth council workers looking for a mattress, to discover what lies at the heart of Britain’s most distinct (and let’s face it, best) county and its people. Not to be missed!

hellen-mort-celeste-1024x480-847x397Mon 9 Nov: Helen Mort, poet, marathon runner and rock climber is also returning to Humber Mouth, and will be reading from Division Street published in 2013 and shortlisted for T.S. Elliot Prize and Costa Prize. Garnering accolades and awards wherever she goes, Helen shares this billing, with Celeste Doaks who received the 2009 Academy of American Poets Graduate Prize: her first collection called Cornrows and Cornfields was published by Wrecking Ball Press. Helen’s new collection coming in 2016, will be about the history of women’s mountaineering.

matt-haig-1024x480-847x397Also returning to Hull is Matt Haig: Earlier this year Matt inspired the Head In A Book audience, with his evening discussing Reasons To Stay Alive. Matt will be bringing us all an early festive treat.

Sun 15 NovA Boy Called Christmas – hailed as an evergreen classic – this special afternoon’s reading will delight children and parents alike, as they learn all about the little boy called Nikolas growing up in Finland who will one day become Father Christmas.

Humber Mouth is passionate about supporting local authors and this year four Hull writers share an afternoon of storytelling in Louise Beech & Friends.

louise-beech-1024x480-847x397Sun Nov 8: There is the true life tale of survival in Louise Beech‘s debut novel How To Be Brave, more courage in the face of adversity in The Headscarf Revolutionaries by Brian Lavery, hard-nosed grit and detection, from Hull’s top crime writer Nick Quantrill and finally, allow yourself to be whisked away to a world of fairy tales with Cassandra Parkin. Four very different writers who are enjoying recent and continuing successes, showcasing Hull’s literary talent.

Thur 12 Nov: Journalist, broadcaster, cultural commentator and author Rosie Millard will be talking with writer Dave Windass about her new novel The Square described as: ‘A modern comedy for mature Bridget Joneses, a delightful comic romp crafted with wit, humour and honesty.’

Rosie-Millard-1024x480-847x397Rosie is chair of the charitable trust that will run Hull 2017 and never misses an opportunity to promote Hull: she believes, as do I, that art should be accessible to all.

Hanna-Lowe-1024x480-847x397Sat 14th Nov: Hanna Lowe will be reading from Chick: a debut collection that takes you on a journey around her father, a Chinese – Black Jamaican migrant, who disappeared at night to play cards and dice in London’s old East End. Literary prize-nominated and with a Radio 4 Book of the Week, already to her name, Hanna Lowe is justifying her place on the 20 Next Generation Poets list.

This year the range of events is so diverse: new and established voices, bringing humour, science, learning, celebrity, curiousity and pure joy: with a few special surprises along the way.

Look out for the Humber Mouth Commissions where artists have found bold and imaginative ways to engage audiences, through live performance as in Shipping 4 Cast and interactive events such as A Very Odd Place by Frances Kelly.

shipping-1024x480-847x397There are a host of Humber Mouth Literature Festival events from Nov 6 – Nov 16 these are just a few highlights I have selected, to tempt you with. With many events being free to attend and in accessible central locations, there really is no reason not to get involved.

Pick up the new brochure today from venues across the city and don’t miss out on what promises to be the best Humber Mouth yet.

For All Events and Tickets visit events diary at:

Throughout the festival follow us on Twitter: @Humbermouth

Every venue is wheelchair accessible: if you have any special requirements please contact the venue directly or the festival office.

Email: Phone: 01482 300 300


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