Another book opens followed by a laugh

The Birmingham Literature Festival, the name of the former Birmingham Book Festival, is well underway having opened on Thursday 3 October.

The Festival has rebranded to coincide with the opening of the new Library of Birmingham which in it's title of Rewriting the Book highlights the change in how the book and literature is understood and accessed.

The Festival was originally started in partnership with a bookshop, at a time when books were genuinely the most popular way of releasing literature. Since then, the landscapes of writing and publishing have changed enormously. Literature is now made and enjoyed through a wide variety of platforms. For many years now the Festival has brought you events that centred around excellent literature in all forms, not just books. This year, to coincide with the new Library of Birmingham and a step change in our programming, we wanted to take the opportunity to give the Festival an updated identity. We hope you like it as much as we do.

The ten day festival is organised by, the group which was set up in 1999 and aims to develop the skills of creative writers, encourage creative writing and promote it in the West Midlands.

The programme, reproduced below from the Festival Guide, shows the great mix of writers attending the event including Carol Ann Duffy, Lionel Shriver and Benjamin Zephaniah all following in the footsteps of previous speakers such as Ranulph Fiennes, Julie Walters and Billy Bragg. 

Meanwhile words of a different kind are being celebrated elsewhere in the city with the Birmingham Comedy Festival taking place from 4 - 13 October.

Started in 2001 the festival has seen Lenny Henry, Lee Evans and Frankie Boyle amongst hundreds of comedians amongst theatre, workshop, film visual art and stand-up comedy.

This year sees 60 shows across the city from Russell Brand and Adam Hills to Brum's favourite housewife Mrs Barbara Nice,

The remainder of the programme from today is shown below from the Comedy Festival website,


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