The Paisley Book Festival will return in 2021 with a fantastic digital programme of events to enjoy from Thursday 18 – Saturday 27 February.
In 1880, Benjamin Disraeli famously said “Keep your eye on Paisley!” Paisley has a long history of radicalism, of finding strength in facing up to and overcoming adversity in whatever shape or form it might take.
The theme for the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, Radical New Futures, emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic and the resilience and fortitude that people and communities have shown. It has also been motivated by the importance that green spaces have played as solace and recuperation over the last year.
Books and reading have been a great source of comfort for so many people during lockdown, evidenced by increased borrowing figures at Renfrewshire Libraries.
The Paisley Book Festival 2021 will welcome the 2020 Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart, who will be joined by two other Scottish literary giants, Andrew O’Hagan and Graeme Armstrong.
Other headline events will include Janey Godley, Melanie Reid, Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, writer for Small Axe series Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Jenny Kleeman, Kirstin Innes, and Kate Charlesworth in conversation with Val McDermid.
Events for children will include Ross Mackenzie, Vivian French, Patience Agbabi, Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper.
Setting the tone for the Festival on its opening night – Radical New Futures – will be poet, playwright and performer Hannah Lavery (The Drift and Lament for Sheku Boyah), writer Laura Waddell (Exit) and Renfrewshire local Alan Bissett with his new novella Lazy Suzan. The opening night will also include Newtopia: Women with Fierce Words, a multimedia performance of writing emerging from women’s disrupted lives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, presented by Women With Fierce Words and joined from India by the award-winning poet, Saima Afreen.
Paisley Book Festival welcomes novelist, poet, performer, Kirsty Logan and author and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack as guest curators. Kirsty has curated a strand Understories: Reclaiming the stories we think we know with authors Intan Paramaditha, Sarah Maria Griffin, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Rebecca Tamas, Michael Lee Richardson and Tasha Suri. Malachy welcomes authors Alastair McIntosh, Kapka Kassabova, Patrick Laurie, Cal Flyn and Lisa Wollett to the festival as part of an event strand called A Place for Hope: land, loss and the politics of care.
See the full programme at: paisleybookfestival.com