Talent shines through in a celebration of words encompassing fact, fiction, poetry, journalism and even Scrabble.
What brings together everything from poetry to publishing, comic books to crime-writing, and the Battle of Bosworth to the Book of the Dead? Book to the Future, the University’s first festival celebrating the written and spoken word, held last autumn by the College of Arts and Law (CAL).
The six-day event showcased the talents of academics, students, staff and alumni as well as welcoming well-known poets, authors and journalists onto campus. Actor, television presenter and history enthusiast Sir Tony Robinson entertained an audience of more than 400 children in the Elgar Concert Hall; while the Creative Minds series (bringing distinguished writers and artists to the University) launched with poet Jamie McKendrick performing several of his works. Fantasy fiction hero Robin Hobb, award-winning author Professor David Lodge (PhD, 1967; HonDLitt, 2001), and Creative Writing Lecturer and author Dr Richard House were among the other experts sharing their knowledge.
More than 1,700 people explored campus, and we held 43 events, four exhibitions, one world record attempt and even a social Scrabble afternoon. It wouldn’t have happened without alumni getting involved and the support of the Alumni Impact Fund so I would like to thank everyone who played their part.
The festival also offered plenty of opportunities to get involved, including the first UK-wide university poetry slam – UniSlam! – featuring students from nine universities from Edinburgh (the eventual winners) to Cambridge. 'We set out to show the wealth of creative talent being nurtured in the shadow of Old Joe and it became a very successful and thoroughly enjoyable festival,’ says Charlotte Heap, Alumni Relations Manager for CAL.
Did you know?
Helping to keep the joy of words alive for future generations of students, more than 1,100 alumni gave £3 towards a new library on campus. Each £3 gift was topped up to £100 by former Chancellor Sir Dominic Cadbury’s Challenge Fund, raising more than £83,000. Thank you to everyone who made a gift.