Antrobus and Welsh to headline Paisley Book Festival

Antrobus and Welsh to headline Paisley Book Festival

Graeme Macrae Burnet, Raymond Antrobus (pictured) and Louise Welsh are among authors headlining next year's Paisley Book Festival, which will celebrate literature inspired by or written in Scotland.

The festival will run from 17th to 26th February 2022 with the theme "Scotland's Year of Stories" at its centre. 

Mara Menzies and Harry Josephine Giles were appointed as guest curators to oversee strands of the programme. Giles leads on "Minding Language", a series of events about poetry in the Scottish islands that unsettles language, featuring writers including Shetland poet Roseanne Watt and Ted Hughes Award-winner Antrobus while Menzies’ "The Power of Storytelling" event explores the power of the craft and how to preserve it for future generations. 

Other highlights include James Robertson reading from his latest novel, News of the Dead (Hamish Hamilton), a ghost story set in a glen. Elsewhere, Welsh will present her sequel to The Cutting Room, The Second Cut (Canongate Books). Kathleen Jamie will read from her latest work and shares what the first six months as Scottish Makar have been like.

Writers C J Cooke and Jenni Fagan will explore their latest books in an event chaired by host of the "Witches of Scotland" podcast, Zoe Venditozzi, while Booker-Prize shortlisted Burnet presents his new novel Case Study (Saraband).

Featuring at Malika's Poetry Kitchen is Jacob Sam La Rose and Dorothea Smartt while Denise Mina will read stories about Scottish history from her new book Rizzio (Polygon), which explores the history of private secretary David Rizzio, who was murdered in Mary Queen of Scots' private rooms. 

Elsewhere, South American writers Diamela Eltit and Julián Fuks, who are published by Edinburgh-based Charco Press, will headline Stories of Resistance, in an event chaired by their English translator Daniel Hahn. 

Jess Orr, associate programmer for the festival, said: “Bringing some of Scotland's best writers and storytellers to Paisley for a 10-day extravaganza of events, we're thrilled to be back this February to celebrate the stories that make us who we are, and who we're going to be. Whether you're a fully subscribed book-lover or haven't picked up a book since school, check out the Paisley Book Festival programme this year and be part of the conversation. We've all got a story to tell, after all."

The festival will also include music from Chamber Music Scotland, which has partnered with the event, and a drop in "Listening Lounge" in Paisley Central Library, alongside a book launch for Ross Mackay and a Gaelic puppet show.

A workshop programme including writing inspired by Indian classical dance, pop culture, folklore, flash fiction and the hidden histories of Renfrewshire women will be held in conjunction with the Glasgow Women's Library.

Chief executive Dr Victoria Hollows: “I am delighted we are launching the 2022 Paisley Book Festival, with the same energy and inspirational programming that made the first two years such a success. This year's theme of Stories Make Us, as part of Scotland’s Year of Storytelling, embodies the feeling of community that has been so prevalent throughout the pandemic.

"It’s fantastic to see this reflected in the wonderful line-up of writers involved in the 2022 festival, from headliners such as Louise Welsh and Denise Mina to local writers, poets and children's authors. I am sure it will be another huge success and build Paisley Book Festival’s reputation as a festival not to be missed."
The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley and delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure and funded by Renfrewshire Council. The festival is also partnering with next year.