The award-winning Trinidad-born writer ANTHONY JOSEPH will open this year’s festival at The Studio – Gala Theatre, Durham on Friday 6th October by reading extracts from his accomplished first novel The African Origins of UFO’s – an experimental work of metafiction, myth and science fiction. Anthony is a creative and forward thinking writer & performance poet, whose views and literary visions are respected by intrigued audiences and readers across the global literary scene.
“I hope my event will enable people to appreciate the multifaceted nature of British writing and open their minds to new voices and new ways of using language,” said Anthony.
Anthony’s Durham Literature Festival curtain raiser will enthuse the audience with material drawn from inspirational elements that have been influential in his life. He wants people to enjoy a fresh cultural experience as he reflects and utilises his Trinidadian roots. The subjects he uses include: his family life spent growing up in Trinidad; his 17-years spent living in the UK [he moved to this county in 1989]; Trinidadian history [in particular the story of Daaga who tried to walk back to Africa from Trinidad in 1837]; science fiction; George Clinton’s Funkadelic; John Coltrane and 1970’s black American poetry.
If you combine all of the aforementioned ingredients you are left with an evening of fascinating view points – the event is being staged in partnership with Colpitts Poetry (www.colpittspoetry.co.uk).
London-based Anthony (39) underlines the crucial role events like the Durham Literature Festival play in the UK literary calendar. He says: “Its always important as a poet and spoken word artist to reach as many people as possible – festivals like Durham’s play a crucial role in keeping spoken word and performance poetry alive.”
Friday 6th October is certain to have a little something for both fiction and poetry lovers alike.
Durham Literature Festival 2006 is a Durham City Arts project, supported by: Durham City Council; Arts Council England, North East; Durham County Council; Independent Northern Publishers and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“If I could make a change…”
Anthony Joseph was asked – “if he could make a few key changes to the current literary scene what would they be?”
Anthony underlines the need to educate people about the process of publishing and to provide writers with the full armoury about the industry. He suggests that more specialised workshops should be set-up to teach people how to package and sell their work to publishers – as he believes publishers are only interested in one thing and that’s … selling books.
Anthony is the author of two poetry collections: Disafinado and Teragaton and he wants to see a considerable change in the way poetry is taught in schools. His thoughts are to introduce poetry to young people in a ‘less formal’ manner and to approach teaching the subject in a more challenging and experimental way.
Anthony closes by saying what he thinks should happen to secure a stronger foundation for black writers in the UK. He concludes: “More black businesses should invest in black writers and establish more black owned publishing outlets.”
For a full biography on Anthony Joseph and further details about The African Origins of UFO’s please visit www.anthonyjoseph.co.uk
Durham Literature Festival 2006 is only the turn of a page away:
14 events + 29 writers + 4 venues + 3 weeks = Durham Literature Festival 2006.
“Bringing writers in the calibre of Anthony Joseph to the Durham Literature Festival represents our belief in creating the ultimate literary experience for all festival goers. Our intention is to stage and deliver a quality event that caters for every bodies needs and to press all the right buttons,” said John McGagh, Festival Programmer for the Durham Literature Festival 2006.
Some other highlights…
There is a welcome return to the festival by poet SIMON ARMITAGE [9 Oct, Durham Town Hall] (award-winning Yorkshire-born writer: poetry / radio, television, film & stage); one of Britain’s finest all-round entertainers VIC REEVES [10 Oct, Durham Town Hall] will be reading extracts from his book Me:Moir (published by Virgin Books) ; the rare UK appearance by American poet SHARON OLDS [16 Oct – Durham Town Hall] (Olds – 1980 inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award & 1998 the official New York State Poet); and SEAN O’BRIEN [20 Oct, To Hell and Back – The Studio, Gala Theatre] will guide us through his evocative new English version of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ (O’Brien is a UK award-winning poet and playwright – his credits include: the Somerset Maugham, the EM Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Forward Prize).
The Durham Literature Festival is a much loved and respected event in the literary world’s annual calendar and it has been regarded down the years as a valuable window into the literary scene – watched, listened to and enjoyed by an appreciative loyal audience. This year’s programme introduces a balance of regional, national and international performers – providing a variety of personal journeys; memories and creative experiences that once fused together deliver the ultimate festival escapade.
Durham Literature Festival 2006 is proud to be working in partnership with some of the region’s leading literary organisations including: Colpitts Poetry, Flambard Press, New Writing North, VANE Women, Iron Press and Independent Northern Publishers.
The next move…
Anthony Joseph’s event The African Origins of UFO’s will take place on Friday 6th October at The Studio – Gala Theatre, Durham commencing at 7.30pm – tickets are priced £8 (full) / £6 (concs) and can be purchased by contacting the Gala Theatre box office on (0191) 332 4041 – this is the same number for ALL Durham Literature Festival ticket enquires.
For a full Durham Literature Festival programme please visit www.literaturefestival.co.uk this will be your comprehensive guide to all of the events and will also contain a regularly updated festival blog.
Spread the word … the Durham Literature Festival is on its way!