Turning the pages
Portsmouth BookFest 2016, which runs from Sunday 14th February to Saturday 5th March, aims to embrace the city’s strong literary heritage while appealing to keen readers from across the local area with exciting and informative events featuring a range of authors.
The event promotes both book buying and book borrowing - especially amongst groups who may not have previously considered participating in book-related events - and uses a wide variety of venues, from sports centres and museums to night clubs and pubs as well as libraries and community centres.
Kicking off this year’s festival is The Valentines’ Day Massacre - an evening of vitriol, vengeance and weissbier with the talented writers and musicians of Portsmouth Writers Hub upstairs at the Wave Maiden in Southsea.
The city’s passion for the beautiful game takes centre stage at Carnegie Library in Fratton on Saturday 21st February (2pm) as Neil Allen, chief sports writer for The News, talks about his interest in Portsmouth Football Club, what prompted him to write Played Up Pompey and how we went about publishing his book. Legendary Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight will also attend, as Alan is one of 24 interviews Neil carried out with former Blues players.
On the same day, Portsmouth’s history will be in the spotlight at Square Tower (7.30pm). This Island City is an anthology of poetry which brings the city to life, showing its character and its people, revealing its scars of war and poverty as well as its beauty.
The event will include readings from Portsmouth people who have contributed to the anthology, along with national and local poets, plus live music with Janet Ayers and friends.
Crime fiction meets crime fact on Saturday 5th March in ‘CSI Portsmouth’ at the Pyramids Centre in Southsea (10am-4pm), with crime authors Diana Bretherick, Elly Griffiths, J.S Law, Pauline Rowson, William Sutton and experts.
Many more talks and events throughout the festival explore aspects of the Portsmouth community through poetry and prose. For the full programme and further details of times and ticket prices, visit www.portsmouthbookfest.co.uk
Portsmouth BookFest is jointly organised by Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop. There is an associated schools programme organised by Portsmouth School Library Service.