WORDPLAY 2018 promises an “exciting programme” with a “great line up of authors and events” according to curator Karen Cunningham, in her second year in charge of the event .
The programme kicks off on the evening of 8 November with A Celebration of Shetland Writing which will give the Mareel audience a chance to hear from a variety of Shetland writers in an evening featuring poetry and prose from across the isles.
An eclectic mix of events will be held over the following three days at Mareel, Bonhoga, Shetland Library and Shetland Museum.
Friday 9 November will see the children’s Big Bookbug at Mareel followed by MP Jo Swinson on her book Equal Power and Professor AC Grayling on his work Democracy and its Crisis, with Robert Alan Jamieson holding a creative writing workshop at Bonhoga.
Saturday 10 Novemer sees more talks and presentations by Ann Marie Anderson, Mallachy Tallack, Robert Alan Jamieson and Amy Liptrot at Mareel, where there will also be a screening of Where the Wild Things Are, while Tallack will give a travel writing workshop at Shetland Library.
Wordplay’s closing day on Sunday 11 November sees all the action at Mareel with a nature writing workshop byPatrick Barkham followed by talks by James and Tom Morton, John Goodlad, Barkham and a late night open mic, as well a writing the archive workshop, writing on the changing face of nature and a screeing of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Cunningham, the founder and director of Glasgow’s Aye Write! Festival says in her Wordplay programme introduction that “Scotland has a host of book festivals, but the best stand out because they have an enticing flavour that’s all their own.
“That’s what I hope my second Wordplay will be – a real taste of Shetland. And taking this literally, we feature Shetland: Cooking on the Edge of the World by James and Tom Morton which explores life on the islands with food, drink and community at its heart and celebrates a very different kind of island paradise.”
The festival also welcomes local writers Mallachy Tallack and his “exquisite” debut novel, Valley at the Centre of the World; poet and novelist Robert Alan Jamieson; bairn’s Author Ann Marie Anderson and John Goodlad, the author of The Cod Hunters, who was for many years deeply involved with the isles’ fishing and aquaculture sectors.
The festival will also cover some challenging global issues through debates and events such as the EU referendum in the UK and Trump’s victory in the USA.
In Democracy and its Crisis A. C. Grayling investigates why the democratic institutions seem unable to hold up against the forces they were designed to manage, and why it matters.
In the centenary of womens’ suffrage in the UK, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson outlines the steps that can be taken to bring “true” equality to society, in her book Equal Power.
Prizewinning natural history writer, Patrick Barkham with Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago, seeks to discover what it is like to live on a small island, and what it means to be an islander, a theme developed by journalist and novelist Amy Liptrot in The Outrun.
The festival also sees the return of the Wordcard, which gives the purchaser access to everything in Wordplay.
The Wordplay programme can be viewed here.