Celebration of creativity as festival kicks off

The Wolverhampton Literature Festival has already seen the likes of Soul II Soul frontman Jazzie B appear to talk about his new autobiography and life in music, as well as showcase poets and provide opportunities to meet creative people from across the literary world.


Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh will headline the festival on Sunday, discussing his new thriller The Long Knives and also talking about his anti-heroes Renton, Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud on the 30th anniversary of the publication of the book.


Alongside that will be entertaining and engaging talks from a diverse crowd, from comedian Richard Herring to TV presenter and writer Emma Kennedy to a film event showing some of the best creative film makers from Wolverhampton.


A big part of the event has been the community involvement, with artists, poets and performers from across the city having the opportunity to meet up in a central venue and share their wares.


This year, the Mander Community Hub in the Mander Centre has become the centre for activities through WCR FM, which has been hosting 101.8 WCR FM Radio Station Presents across the weekend.


The event in the hub, which can be found on the lower level heading out towards Victoria Street, has provided authors and artists a place to showcase their work, talk to members of the public and sell their books and artworks.


There have also been live performances at the back of the hub, with a diverse group of performers including poet, author and comic compere Brendan Hawthorne, artists Laura Liptrot, WCR presenter Susan Vickers and creative soul Claire Tedstone.


Poet Steven C Davis is interviewed by Jason Forrest at the outside broadcast area

WCR was also present within the Mander Centre, with a live broadcast by presenter Jason Forrest taking place in the nearby Tapri cafe, one of three live broadcasts by the community radio station.


The involvement in the station at the Literature Festival was instigated by post-in-resident Ian Henery, a published poet and author in his own right, who said it was important to support a creative community.


He said: “My brief upon joining the station was to add value and bring something that would benefit the community and the radio station.


“Wolverhampton is a creative city and full of entrepreneurs and I thought about how we could add value, so our involvement is through the model of collaborative working, with each team member bringing something to celebrate the diverse community that is Wolverhampton.


“It’s like a selection box and every author, publisher and spoken work artist has been different, which is part of our wonderful city.”


Station chairman Chris Allen will be broadcasting live from the Centre on Sunday at 12pm and said the involvement in the festival was part of the station’s commitment to being at the heart of the city.


He said: “We’ve taken it on for these three days and people have been having a great time and it’s had the feeling of a reunion fest which has given people that space for creative expression, something we feel is really important.


“Ian’s come in and got us started and we will get more involved and do more and more as I’m already involved in conversations about the arts festival on coronation weekend.


“Everywhere I’ve looked, I’ve seen smiling faces and people have been coming in to celebrate each others talents and, given what we’ve been through the last few years, it’s been great to do this.”


To find out more about the events going on at the festival, go to wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/index.html#at-a-glance

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