The team behind the famous Port Eliot Festival range of books for many years have partnered with the Falmouth Bookseller, the University of Falmouth and the Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID), to launch the Falmouth Book Festival which takes place will take place from Thursday October 14 to Sunday October 17.
For their inaugural year, the list of speakers includes award-winning writers like Max Porter, Monique Roffey and Nina Stibbe, as well as poems by Luke Wright, a regular at the Edinburgh Festival. Best-selling author Raynor Winn and BAFTA-winning filmmaker Mark Jenkin will join other Cornwall-based writers like Wyl Menmuir and Cathy Rentzenbrink over the four-day festival.
The event was made possible with the support of various local businesses and institutions, including the Falmouth Bookseller, Falmouth BID and the University of Falmouth. Jennifer Young, head of creative writing at the university, and herself a published author, said: âFalmouth University has been a hub of creativity for over a hundred years. We have an active community of writers, centered in the flagship of the writing and journalism department, and are delighted to partner with the Falmouth Book Festival, a vital new addition to Falmouth’s festival lineup.
The festival will celebrate strong local themes. Local writers Charlie Carroll and Catrina Davies will chat with Mark Jenkin about the misrepresentation of Cornwall in popular culture. Philip Marsden will speak with fellow travel writer Tim Hannigan about his books, including his non-fictional story The Leveling Sea which celebrates Falmouth’s rich maritime history. Lamorna Ash and Gavin Knight have both written books on Cornwall’s fishing industry and will take a look at how it is moving after Brexit and COVID. And there will even be a Saturday morning workshop in Cornish for budding linguists.
But the festival is more than just entertainment. It will also feature an educational program, bringing writers to local schools to help children engage in the often distant and elevated world of writing. Festival director Colin Midson explained, âWe want the festival to really connect with the local community, especially with young children. That’s why we work with local schools and make sure all public children’s events are free.
Ron Johns, owner of the Falmouth Bookseller, is excited about the project: âWe had a festival in town a few years ago, but now is the perfect time to revisit the idea and create something impactful and with a real legacy. It should give the city a real boost, especially after such a long time without festivals like this in our lives.
The public events program will use a number of venues across town, including the Poly, Falmouth Library and Art Gallery, Cornish Bank’s new live music and creation venue, and the Princess Pavilions. The programming of events for adults is now online at: www.falmouthbookfestival.com. The programming of workshops and events for children will be announced shortly.