I’ve been reading Douglas Coupland’s forthcoming novel JPod, in the garden during the recent hot spell. My excuse for this is that I’m doing an onstage Q and A with him at Nottingham’s Broadway on Friday June 2nd. Before that, I’m excited about hosting the first Annual Graham Greene Memorial Lecture in Nottingham on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7.30PM. David Lodge will be talking about ‘Graham Greene and the Anxiety Of Influence’, an extended version of a fascinating lecture that I’ve just read. It’s in his forthcoming book The Year Of Henry James. Tickets for this lecture, followed by a q and a, are free, and can be had by phoning 0115 8483231 if you get your skates on.
The Creative Writing MA I run is also hosting some events at Lowdham Book Festival in June (the website isn’t up yet, so no link, but the brochure’s out this week). On Sunday June 18th we have two great writers – Berlie Doherty talking at 1.30, followed by David Almond (the MA’s new visiting professor) at 2.30 and a launch for the ‘In The Frame’ anthology of Young Adult Fiction by East Midlands authors at 3.30. All of these events are in the Festival Marquee on Main St, Lowdham (between Nottingham and Southwell) and are free, as is the festival’s Special Needs book fair for teachers, librarians and parents on June 21st. That day, in addition to the book fair, there are four free talks and a panel discussion about writing and publishing for Reluctant Readers in Lowdham Village Hall: At 4pm, Mike Wilson will be talking about writing non-fiction (his latest is a biography of Wayne Rooney). At 4.25, I’ll be reading my latest (very) short novel Stray, which is published by Barrington Stoke, whose chair, Patience Thomson, will be giving a keynote talk at 5PM, followed by Whitbread winner Hilary McKay at 6PM and a panel discussion at 6.30. After which, we’ll probably all be to knackered to stay and watch Louis De Bernieres play his mandolin (seriously).
My musical highlight of that week will be introducing Trevor Dann, talking about his book ‘Nick Drake: Darker Than The Deepest Blue’ in the festival marquee. This will be followed by a performance by former Fairport Convention man Ashley Hutchings’ (who, arguably, discovered Nick Drake) Rainbow Chasers in the Village Hall (bring your own bottle, eight quid) at 8PM. Should be a great evening. I’ve written a long review of Trevor Dann’s NIck Drake biography for a new Nottingham quarterly and, once it’s published, I’ll post it here, for those outside the area. If you want to be on the Lowdham Festival mailing list or to get more detailed info about the Reluctant Reader book fair, email janestreeter@ remove the gaps and this spam blocking bit thebookcase.co.uk with an appropriate header.