Will Self has been revealed as the headline act for the second annual Wolverhampton Literature Festival.

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The English novelist, journalist, political commentator and television personality, is the author of 10 novels, 5 collections of shorter fiction, 3 novellas, and 5 collections of non fiction writing.

Reader in English Literature at the University of Roehampton, Sebastian Groes, will host the evening with Self, in Wolverhampton Art Gallery's Georgian Room, on Sunday 28 January at 5.30pm.

The city's inaugural literature festival last year proved a popular event with audiences and, the 2018 festival - from Friday 26 January to Sunday 28 January - will see more than 80 artists and performers.

Organisers are now putting the finishing touches to the rest of the programme that has three themes running through it - music and literature, politics and journalism and community voices.

The aim is to build the event over the next five years and make it a permanent fixture in the calendar, after receiving Arts Council England funding up to 2022.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "The pilot festival in 2017 was made possible by the generous contributions of artists and local businesses and was a great celebration of literature in our city.

"I am pleased that the festival will take place again in 2018.  Already there is a great variety of entertainment lined up during the 3 day festival, with even more authors and events to be announced."

The council is working in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton and Express & Star on the festival.

It will include a range of discussions, workshops and performances celebrating City of Wolverhampton's rich relationship with the written and spoken word.

Events will be taking place across the city at Wolverhampton's 16 strong network of libraries, art gallery, Bantock House, Archive, and other venues.

Exciting additions to the programme include a story writing competition for local schools, which will see winning entries adapted for the stage and performed by drama students from the City of Wolverhampton College. 

The Grand Theatre will also be home to the National Theatre's modern production of Hedda Gabbler, Ibsen's thrilling masterpiece which has been brought to bold new life by Olivier Award winning playwright Patrick Marber (Closer) and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winner Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge). 

In conjunction with Write Out Loud and the Express & Star, there will also be a poetry writing competition for adults inspired by the city's motto - 'Out of darkness cometh light'. Poets are invited to submit pieces of up to 40 lines on the theme of 'out of darkness' before the deadline of 31 December, 2017. 

The competition is open to all, with a first prize of £400, and poems will be judged by City of Wolverhampton poet, Emma Purshouse, who said: "I will be searching for those poems that engage with the reader, those poems that people will want to read again and again."

The winners will be announced in advance of the festival itself, giving them the opportunity to read at an awards event during the festival. 

More information is available at Type=links;Linkid=9890;Title=WoLF Poetry competition 2018;Target=_blank;.

The full programme for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival will be announced in the coming days.

  • released: Tuesday 21 November, 2017