We teamed up with Bath Festivals for this year's literature festival, met the winning poets from November's 'At War' poetry competition, and shared team insights into literature's influence on the wider art world.
Bath Literature Festival kicked off on February 27th, and we headed over to the spa city to catch a terrific variety of talks and discussions from the likes of Kate Tempest,Suzanne Moore, Sarah Brown and Scott Pack. We got the key tips on winning a novel award from Bath Novel Award, learnt about women's fashion during the second world war, and pondered the current state of theAmerican Dream. We also met some of the writers from the Young Writers Lab, shared snippets of their creative writing from the Chancery of the Lost and Found, and spoke to their group leader about the highs and lows of working as a professional writer and workshop runner. We also went backstage with the festival's production manager, and found out about the inner workings of the festival from learning and participation leader, Hazel Plowman. Bath Festivals are an Arts Award Good Practice Centre, and you can find out more about their yearly offerings here.
We also celebrated the partipants of last November's At War poetry competition, meeting the winners in Q and A sessions, and releasing the illustrated anthology online. It was great to hear about the many different routes that each young writer had taken into the world of poetry, and get their advice for other aspiring poets.
Our Youth Network delved into the many different areas of the arts ever changing relationship with literature. Bhavesh looked at the role of modern film making, questioning if it has taken the place of literature for a young audience. Sally discussed the effect that feminism has had on modern female protagonists, asking if there is still room for development in our female lit leads. Meridith looked at the potential of children writers, and wondered if we might be paying too little attention to our writers of the future at an early age. The team also picked their 'life changing' books, and explained why these novels have had such an impact - most of them were tearjerkers.
We're closing off the month with a celebration of the upcoming Cityread - an initiative that will run throughout April, getting Londoners reading Ben Aaronovitch's River's of London, with a multitude of exciting events popping up over the city. We chatted with the author himself, and got - let's face it - pretty jealous when we heard about his working life. Being an author's easy, right? We also spoke to Cityread's founder about the highs and lows of arranging such a mammoth event. Keep an eye out here for great opportunities to get involved.
We've also seen some brilliant activity on the blogs and reviews pages from our readers - thank you! We've had a great range of reviews - from London theatre, to piano recitals and life changing books.
April's theme is Art and Politics - we'll be getting serious, speaking to some pretty powerful thinkers in the world of youth politics, discussing the potential for the arts to change political narrative and looking ahead to the elections. Would you like to share your thoughts on art and politics? Do you think changes need to be made? Just sign up and blog your ideas!