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Happy International Women’s Day!

9th March 2017

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are delighted to announce two more exciting events featuring inspirational women at this year’s Festival.  These are in addition to our already strong female line-up with Dame Jenni Murray at the Festival Lunch on Tuesday 13 June, poet Helen Mort (with Dan Richards) at the Guildhall Theatre on Tuesday 13 June (tickets are already on sale), historian Alison Weir on Anne Boleyn on Thursday 15 June and Apple Tree Yard author, Louise Doughty on Saturday 10 June.   And there will be lots more …!

Virago Press: Changing the World One Page at a Time
On Sunday 11 June, Virago Publisher, Lennie Goodings, returns to the Festival to talk about the publishing house and its history and will be joined by one of its authors (to be announced).

Virago was born out of a particular time, place and politics.  Founded by Carmen Callil in 1973, the name instantly signalled Virago’s attitude: Virago means ‘heroic war-like woman’.

Forty years on Virago is the outstanding international publisher of books by women. Today it is as relevant and necessary as ever.  The cultural, political and economic landscape has changed dramatically, but Virago has remained true to its original aims: to put women centre stage; to explore the untold stories of their lives and histories; to break the silence around many women’s experiences; to publish breathtaking new fiction alongside rediscovered classics; and to champion women’s talent.

Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist
On Friday 16 June, Dr Laura Beers, a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham, will talk about her biography of Ellen Wilkinson, best remembered as the leader of the Jarrow March. Born in 1908, she came from a working class family in Manchester.  By 1945 she was Minister of Education, had helped found the Communist Party and had become a renowned advocate for the poor and dispossessed at home and abroad.   She was one of the first female delegates to the United Nations and played a central role in the post-war Labour party.  Red Ellen’s life story is as much an inspiration for activism today as it is a history of an increasingly distant radical past.

More tickets now on sale – at Déda
You can now book tickets for five events at Déda:

  • Friday 9 June, violinist Min Kym will be performing and reading from her memoir Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung which recounts how her Stradivarius was stolen and later recovered.
  • Saturday 10 June, illustrator Matt Sewell, described as the Banksy of the bird world, talks about his lifelong interest in birds, his success as a writer and illustrator and his latest book A Charm of Goldfinches and other Collective Nouns.
  • Wednesday 14 June, horticulturalist Holly Farrell will be talking about her latest book Gardening for Mindfulness.
  • Thursday 15 June, performance poet John Hegley will be sharing extracts from Peace, Love and Potatoes and other work.
  • Saturday 17 June, Blunderbus Theatre Company will perform Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, based on the bestselling children’s book by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie.

Derby Reads, 11 April in QUAD
Our special Festival Programme launch event will be held in QUAD on Tuesday 11 April, with readings from some of the books to be featured in this year’s Festival.  We will also be announcing the winners of this year’s Flash Fiction Writing Competition.   You will be able to pick up a copy of our Festival Programme and the Festival bookmarks that evening.  The Festival Box Office at QUAD also opens on 11 April so you will be able to book tickets for all events from that day!

The Derby Reads event is free, but ticketed.  Tickets will be available from 23 March at QUAD or online from the Festival website.

Derby Book Festival

9 - 17 June 2017

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