York Literature Festival Gets Underway

St Peter's School

York Literature Festival Gets Underway

Liz Lochhead

The first of seven events taking place at St Peter's School, as part of York Literature Festival, got underway this weekend with an appearance from acclaimed poet Liz Lochhead and an open talk with famed author Joanna Trollope.

Liz Lochhead and Steve Kettley: Somethings Old, Somethings New

Liz Lochhead is an acclaimed poet who was Makar, or National Poet of Scotland until 2016. Accompanied by Steve Kettley on the Sax she opened our March 2019 series of Public Lectures in partnership with the York Literature Festival providing a virtuoso display of the magic of poetry to capture character, emotion and a sense of place.

Liz’s poetry took us to meet a diverse range of characters – with a range of Scottish accents – as they struggled with everything from teenage crushes to the rejuvenation of late love and the worlds of work and relationships in between. As well as having been at the forefront of the Scottish cultural scene for 45 years Liz also drew heavily on her parents’ lives showing us how every day, working class Scottish life – and social mores and conventions - have changed over the last two generations.

It was an engrossing and spellbinding evening.

In Conversation with Joanna Trollope

Joanna TrollopeJoanna Trollope has been at the forefront of contemporary fiction in the UK for three decades and we were delighted to welcome her to St Peters to find out more about her, her writing and characters as part of our Public Lecture series and partnership with York Literature Festival.

Camron Miller, a member of St Peter’s English and Drama departments, ably led the conversation with Joanna during which we learnt that she still wrote in manuscript ruthlessly editing and improving her text five or six times before it reached her publisher. “There is no manuscript on earth that can’t be improved with some good editing” Joanna declared- something with which teachers, in particular, would heartily agree! Joanna starts her books with characters caught up in a tricky issue or situation, plots out the first few chapters and the ending carefully and then lets them and the plot develop as she writes.

We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting Joanna in the Memorial Hall and later over drinks, where book sales were brisk as members of the audience sought out titles of hers they hadn’t previously read or wanted to give as gifts. We’re looking forward to the remaining events in our seven with the Festival this year.