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Leeds Lit Fest launches its 2022 festival programme! posted 27 Jan 2022

Leeds Lit Fest launches its 2022 festival programme!

The 4th Leeds Lit Fest takes place from Saturday 26th Feb to Sunday 6th March celebrating the vibrant and thriving literature scene that exists in Leeds with local writers, performers and artists showcasing their talents alongside those from across the UK and internationally.

The award winning festival which is organised  by a number of cultural organisations in the city,  will   engage audiences in over 50 events aimed to appeal not just to lovers of books and the written word but also to audiences which might never normally consider going to a literature festival.   This eclectic approach to the programme will see comedy, cabaret, a literature quiz, film screening, art exhibition, theatre performance, a literature walk and creative writing workshops sit alongside more traditional literary talks, book readings and poetry events.  

A programme of children’s and family events will launch the festival on Saturday 26th February at Leeds Central Library and include author talks, poetry and performance including events with award winning children’s authors Chitra Soundar, Andy Mulligan and Steve Cole.

From Sunday 27th the festival will branch out to visit venues throughout the city, with this year’s festival theme of ‘Boundaries’ inspiring many of the programmed writer events across subjects as diverse as travel, politics, the law, personal memoir and the environment.   The performance element of the festival will see a Bronte themed Cabaret evening on Sat 5th March, a performance by Commoners Choir and a Salon du Chocolat both on Sun 6th March, all take place at Carriageworks Theatre. Elsewhere a Charles Dickens double bill performed by his great great grandson Gerald Dickens will take place at The Leeds Library on Wed 2nd March.

Many of the events programmed for the 2022 festival will happen in front of live audiences and be streamed online enabling attendance not just by Leeds based audiences but by lovers of literature across the world.The festival has also committed to making sure that a number of the festival events are as accessible as possible to Leeds residents with a Pay What You Feel admission price policy.

Lit Fest partners include Leeds Big Bookend, Hyde Park Book Club, MILIM, Leeds Libraries, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds Church Institute, The Leeds Library, Headingley Lit Fest and Strix.   Festival events take place at some of the most iconic buildings in the city such as Trinity Church in Leeds city centre which will host the Seeing Asylum exhibition from Fri 4th to Sun 6th March which through stories, words and voices present the lived experience of asylum seekers.

Author highlights for the festival will include talks by AC Grayling (Sun 27th Feb), Jonathan Drori (Mon 28th Feb), Peter Hain (Thurs 3rd March) and Johann Hari (Sat 5th March). Poetry performances for the festival will include a panel and performance event organized by the British Library (Sat 5th March) curated by Khadijah Ibrahiim and an event organized with the Poetry Translation Centre (Fri 4th March) with Diana Anphimiadi.  Creative writing workshops during the festival (Sat 5th and Sun 6th March) will cover a broad range of topics from writing ghost stories to storytelling.

Carl Hutton, Chair of the Leeds Lit Fest said, ’We are really pleased that for the 4th year running we have been able to bring together a festival which will appeal to many people from across the city.   Despite the uncertainty of the last 12 months we have a programme that champions new writers, authors and poets alongside nationally renowned figures such as Peter Hain and AC Grayling.  We hope as many people as possible will feel able to support the festival whether it’s by visiting an exhibition, going to a workshop, watching a film or meeting an author at one of the many talks.  We have also committed to producing a live streamed podcast presenting some of the characters of the festival each weekday, as a way of introducing new people to the Lit Fest.’

Fiona Gell from the Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival said, ‘The festival has always made sure there is a strong connection with local writers and poets and this year is no different with many talks, workshops and performances being led by local writers and performers, most notably with a performance by the Leeds based Commoners Choir (led by Boff Whalley) and Harmony Choir (a choir of refugees led by Frances Bernstein) to present their song Looking Out, Reaching Out which is a call for people of West Yorkshire to make connections with places right around the world.’