Two weeks before the Marlborough Literature Festival

By Jessica Durston – September 15, 2022

arts and culture

The Marlborough Literature Festival kicks off later this month and runs from September 29 to October 2.

The 13th Marlborough Literature Festival will return to the city later this month, and members of the public can still purchase tickets for a number of its varied events.

Members of the public can purchase tickets from the festival bookshop, the festival website, the white horse bookshop or by calling 0333 666 3366.

There will be a wide range of literary events for LitFest attendees.

The lineup includes 2022 Golding President Ali Smith, as well as Kamila Shamsie, Patrick Gale, Pam Ayres, Clover Stroud, Max Hastings and Benedict Allen.

For the youngest festival-goers, Morag Hood, Tracey Corderoy and Jacqueline Wilson will be there.

Other highlights for adults wishing to attend the festival include:

  • Hannah Lowe, reading poetry from her 2021 Costa Prize-winning book, children, in Memorial Hall at Marlborough College.
  • The annual Hiscox Debut Authors Slot will champion the emerging writing talent of Ayanna Lloyd Banwo and Bobby Palmer.
  • Archaeologist and local author, Mike Pitts, talking about his latest book, How to build Stonehenge.
  • Award-winning author of books on landscape, place, literature and history, Adam Nicolson, on his new book, Life between the tides.
  • Wiltshire local vicar, the Reverend Colin Heber-Percy, in conversation with the Bishop of Ramsbury, Andrew Rumsey, on the role of the parish church during the pandemic and their recent books, Tales from a Country Parish and In English Grounds: A Pastoral Journalrespectively.
  • Scottish Bengali author Abir Mukherjee makes a welcome return to LitFest to discuss his latest book of historical crime fiction, The shadow of men.
  • This year’s translation duel will feature German language experts Shaun Whiteside and Ruth Martin discussing a tale by the Brothers Grimm, chaired by Daniel Hahn.
  • Author and journalist, Anita Sethi and travel writer, Simon Parker, discuss their experiences of traveling to Britain in 2019/20 (Anita cycled the Pennine Way; Simon completed a 3,500 km bike ride miles around Britain) in their books, I belong here and Horse ridingrespectively.
  • Louise Willder wrote the “blurbs” on the backs of books for Penguin for 25 years, and 5,000 of them later broke free and wrote an entire book: Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion.
  • Memoir writing workshop with best-selling author and creative writing teacher Cathy Rentzenbrink.
  • The annual Collectible Book Tour with local rare book expert Chris Gange at Katharine House Gallery.
  • Poetry in the Pub returns to The Green Dragon pub with the popular open-mic poetry event for poets of all ages, chaired by Alex Hickman. This year’s theme is “The Environment” – individuals can submit their poems in advance to [email protected] and these will be read first.

Additionally, in tribute to the late Queen, 13 local schools took part in the 2022 Festival Primary School Competition, which received nearly 800 entries in total.

The children wrote ‘The Day the Queen Came to Stay’ to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, which organizers say now has a deeper resonance for all. Six prizes of £25 White Horse Bookshop book tokens were donated by Haine & Smith Marlborough.

These prizes will be awarded during the LitFest weekend.

The Marlborough LitFest team also issued the following statement regarding the Queen’s passing: “The LitFest team is deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. We offer our sincere condolences and gratitude for an incredible reign and a lifetime of devotion to this country.”

More information about the Marlborough LitFest can be found online at at

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