Press Office


A World of Words: international writers journey to Newcastle for Festival of Belonging

Acclaimed writers from all over the world will gather in Newcastle for an exciting celebration of literature and film.

The Festival of Belonging, organised by the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts (NCLA), based in Newcastle University, will bring together international poets, novelists, film-makers and musicians to examine issues to do with identity and where we think we belong.

Among those taking part is the internationally acclaimed author Sapphire, whose best-selling novel Push became the Oscar-winning film Precious. Sapphire will be in conversation with festival host Jackie Kay on 4th May when their talk will be followed by a screening of the film.

Hari Kunzru, who has written The Impressionist, Revolution and Gods without Men, was named as one of the best 20 young British novelists by Granta and has won the Somerset Maugham prize for the best writer under 35. He will be appearing at the festival with Tahmima Anam on 5 May. Tahmima’s first novel, A Golden Age, won the Commonwealth writer’s prize for best first novel. Her second novel The Good Muslim was published last year.

Helen Oyeyemi, who won the Somerset Maugham prize in 2010, will host a creative writing workshop on Saturday, 5 May. The author, whose novels include The Icarus Girl and Mr Fox, will also be NCLA’s writer-in-residence during April and May. She will be in discussion with acclaimed poet Daljit Nagra and author Bernadine Evaristo about how their work reflects issues of identity and displacement.

Newcastle University Professor of Creative Writing Jackie Kay, said: “We’re so delighted to have some of the world’s finest writers come to Newcastle to read, discuss and debate one of the most pressing issues of our time: what makes us who we are and where do we belong.”

The Festival of Belonging will run from 30 April until 6 May and will take place at a series of venues across Newcastle. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the NCLA website, email Melanie Birch or telephone 0191 208 7619.

The Festival of Belonging is part of a series of events which mark the launch of the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal.

published on: 1 May 2012