The first Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing will take place in Haworth later this month, with a headline reading by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The festival has been organised by the BrontëParsonageMuseumas part of its contemporary arts programme, with support from Arts Council England, and will take place at various venues in Haworth from Friday 17 – Sunday 19 September 2010.
The festival weekend will be opened with a reading by novelist Kate Mosse, on the evening of Friday 17 September. Kate Mosse is best known for her international bestseller Labyrinth, which has been published in forty countries and won the ‘Richard and Judy’s Best Read’ award in 2006.
On the morning of Saturday 18 September, recent writer in residence at the museum Katrina Naomi will lead a poetry workshop. Participants will accompany Katrina to the museum collections where they will see some of the items not out on public display. They will then be invited to create new poems inspired by their visit.
Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate, will visit Haworth on Saturday 18 September at 7.30pm to read from her work.
On the afternoon of Sunday 19 September, writer Daisy Hay (pictured) will speak about her book Young Romantics, which explores the lives of the Romantic poets, including Byron and Shelley, and the dazzling circle of women writers and thinkers that they moved in.
The weekend will also include a variety of drop-in events and activities for families, including a poetry trail around Haworth, storytelling and informal readings by local poets.
The Brontës were pioneering writers, at a time when very few women got published. The success of their novels changed the way that women writers were perceived and the festival will celebrate their incredible legacy, by showcasing the work of high profile and emerging contemporary women writers. When Charlotte Brontë wrote to the Poet Laureate Robert Southey for advice in 1837, she was told that ‘writing cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and ought not to be’.
She would be delighted that Carol Ann Duffy, the first female in the role, will read at the very first Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing. We hope the festival will become an annual showcase of the quality of writing by women in the region and across the UK.
Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer.
Full times and details of all festival events can be found on the Brontë Parsonage Museum website at www.bronte.info and tickets for events can be booked from the Arts Officer:firstname.lastname@example.org / 01535 640188