Lit Crawl- Belfast Book Festival, 2018

Belfast Book Festival

The 8th annual ‘Belfast Book Festival’ held its first ever ‘Lit Crawl’ on 16th June 2018.

The famous and exciting, 11 days-long, literature celebrating ‘Belfast Book Festival’ has once again delighted Belfast readers with their unique programme. The fest which came back to the city for the 8th time, celebrated and honoured the art sides of Belfast by appreciating and acknowledging  literature, music, theatre and film through over 100 events which gathered Belfast citizens of all ages and various book tastes.

The ‘Belfast Book Festival’ has been invented to enlighten the Belfast city about the local and international talent stretching through various literary genres including; drama, novels, poems, fiction and non-fiction, children’s literature, humour and many more.

To enhance the immeasurable experience for all book lovers, the ‘Belfast Book Festival’ has introduced the ‘Lit Crawl’ for the first time in Northern Ireland. Curated by Jan Carson, the ‘Lit Crawl’ has marked Belfast as the first city in Nothern Ireland and 3rd city in the whole of the UK to host such an event.

The idea of ‘Lit Crawl’ is simple; the night is divided into 3 sessions, with each session holding a number of different literary themed events (readings, plays and gigs) at different locations (cafes, bookstores, graveyards and cinemas) situated in the Queen’s Quarter, with each session lasting 45 minutes where the audience chooses 3 events they want to attend for each session from the given choices.

Belfast Book Festival

For the first session, LoveBelfast have chosen to attend ‘Big Fantastical Garden of Stories’ situated at the Lower Crescent Park. Here ‘Women Aloud NI’ members have shared their self-written, magnificent stories and poems.

Organised and selected by Jo Zebedee the author of the ‘Abendau’ books, ‘Innish Carraig’ and ‘Waters of the Wild’, this session involved 7 exceptionally talented, local writers and poets which were selected to showcase and reflect all the different sides of women’s writing in NI.

The session was full of interesting short stories and fascinating poems including; Sarah Murray’s exciting short story extracts; Kendra Reynolds heart-warming ‘The Little Bruised Heart’; Linda Hutchison’s short yet captivating ‘Foot Prints’ and ‘Out of Control’; Tanya Jones story for her friends ‘The Resistance’; Amy Wyatt Rafferty’s simple, fun, food themed poems; a snippet of Claire Savage’s children’s book ‘Magical Masquerade’; and Yvonne Boyle’s emotional poem ‘Sydenham’.

Belfast Book Festival
From the top left: Yvonne Boyle, Claire Savage, Kendra Reynolds, Linda Hutchinson, Tanya Jones, Amy Wyatt Rafferty and Jo Zebedee.
Bottom: Sarah Murray.

During the second session LoveBelfast visited Friars Bush Graveyard for ‘Belfast’s Books of the Dead’ event. The audience joined the medieval monks who have opened the ‘Belfast’s Book of the Dead’, telling and re-enacting Belfast’s most hunted and enthralling liturgies of ghost-hunters, occult mystics and grave-robbers.

The session consisted of an entertaining duo theatre, with the inclusion of engaging, local death themed, unsolved mysteries, real-life events and rumours, followed by fun, live and ‘Belfast’s Book of the Dead’ related songs.

The final session attended by LoveBelfast was ‘Punching Above Their Weight’ situated at Bar Sub, Queens Students Union. The event marked the significance of small presses which are slowly taking over the publishing world. Here the audience were offered a chance to meet with writers, poets and publishers including; Manuela Moser and Stephen Connolly from ‘The Life Boat Press’, Emma Writes  from ‘The Emma Press’ and Hugh Odling-Smee from ‘Whittrick Press’ to learn more about what they do, how they do it, their passion for it, and how today’s writers can also make their dreams come true.

From the left: Manuela Moser, Stephen Connolly, Emma Writes and Hugh Odling-Smee

visit to check for the next upcoming dates for the festival.

Author: Viktorija Kubiliute

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