Literary treasure

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Snow topped Fells. Frosted fields. Winter sharpens ancient definition in glorious Lakeland scenery. And every year, noting steaming breath, I marvel at sheep knees and noses withstanding intense cold.

At the Maryport Literary Festival, hosted at the Senhouse Roman Museum where picture windows frame the Solway Firth, I enjoyed a tour de force from Steve Matthews (‘polymath and raconteur’) whose book Lap of Horror tells of early travellers to Borrowdale and Derwentwater.

The genius of the Brontë family came alive in Angela Locke’s illuminating conversation with renowned authority Juliet Barker. Each of Patrick Brontë’s children was shy. Writing became their means to articulate rich inner lives.

A personal and poignant reading by Grevel Lindop, the timbre of whose voice hums in his stanzas before he speaks, brought poetry’s moving power to search depths centre stage.

Echoes of Roman soldiers on the mileforts. Time-travel to walk with early Lakeland tourists. Encouragement to the shy. A great poet’s inspiring to aim high. Solway Firth’s sea and sky. Treasure of a way to spend a winter’s day.

– M&P

Maryport Literary Festival

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Photo at Senhouse Museum

Literary Festival 2016: Wild!

Friday 18th – Sunday 20th November 2016

This year’s festival will look at writing inspired by our relationship with the landscape. The festival will be launched by mountaineering legend Doug Scott.

Speakers appearing during the festival weekend include Eric Robson, Steve Matthews, Kim Moore, Robin Ashcroft, Tom Pickard, Josephine Dickinson, Juliet Barker, Catherine Anderson and Simon Yates.

There will be an appearance from the Lakeland Dialect Society and writing workshops will be led by Nick Pemberton and Grevel Lindop.

– M&P