Paisley Book Fest 2021

The Paisley Book Festival has announced a 2021 line-up which sees it embrace the theme of Radical New Futures.

The programme, say the festival festival organisers: ’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’.

The 2021 Festival will take the form of a digital forum with contributors coming from across the globe into your own home. One of the benefits of lockdown is that, with these new online focused events, it’s now so much easier for people from outside the geographical area to join in.

While special Zoom interactive events are ticketed with a price, most of the events are free to attend. Donations are, of course, warmly welcomed.

Paisley Book Fest will run from 18th till 27th February 2021


2020 Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart, will be joined by Scottish literary giant, Andrew O’Hagan and debut writer, Graeme Armstrong.

Graeme Armstrong | Image credit: Robin Farquhar-Thomson

Other headline events will include Trump baiter and Sturgeon impersonator 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 will also be in conversation with Val McDermid.

Opening night event, Radical New Futures, will have 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.

Laura Waddell

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 award-winning poet, Saima Afreen.

Poet and performer, Kirsty Logan and author and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack join the festival 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.

There’s loads more going on. Best check the Festival’s website to find out more.

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