First names announced for Chester Literature Festival

First names announced for Chester Literature Festival as it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in the city.

Michael Morpurgo, Roger McGough and Benjamin Zephaniah are the first names to be announced for Chester Literature Festival taking place at multi-award winning Storyhouse between 9 - 30 November.

One of the UK’s oldest Literature Festivals it was established in 1989 by voluntary organisation Chester Arts 89 and the booksellers of the city. They programmed a week of activity with a line-up that included a reading by DH Lawrence’s niece. 30 years later Morpurgo, McGough and Zephaniah will headline 2019’s line-up.

The author of over 130 books, Michael Morpurgo’s reputation in the world of children's books is unmatched, War Horse, Private Peaceful and The Butterfly Lion to name a few. He will be in Chester during his 75th birthday tour on 9 November revealing the secrets nearly 50 years of writing has taught him.

Roger McGough, one of Britain’s best-loved poets, is the author of over seventy books of poetry and editor of numerous anthologies. On 15 November he will discuss his exuberant new collection Joinedupwriting which ranges from forgotten friendships and the idiosyncrasies of family life to the trauma of war and global politics.

Zephaniah will be in Chester on 23 November. A friend of Nelson Mandela who fought in the 1980s race riots and recorded radical reggae music with Bob Marley’s former band, Zephaniah was unable to read and write at school but became one of Britain’s most celebrated poets. His first tour in eight years coincides with his autobiography, The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah will be a compelling and inspiring show, Zephaniah will explain how he fought injustice and discrimination to lead a remarkable life, while sharing a selection of his favourite stories and poems.

Alex Clifton, artistic director, Storyhouse said:

We are delighted to be announcing some of our generation’s most influential and celebrated writers for the Literature Festival. We celebrate the festivals 30th anniversary this year and will mark such a momentous date with a diverse and thought-provoking programme.

Storyhouse has programmed the festival since 2012, its artists in residence have included Ted Hughes Prize winner Hollie McNish and Poet Laureate for Canterbury Lemn Sissay.

The rest of the programme will be announced throughout the year.

To find out more book visit storyhouse.com

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