Roland Gulliver, associate director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF), is to step down from the post in February 2020, after 13 years with EIBF. Gulliver is leaving "to take up an exciting new role which will be announced shortly," the festival said.
Gulliver's achievements at EIBF include programming major set-piece strands such as the Stripped events featuring graphic novelists and comic creators, working with many of the festival's guest selectors, and developing programme partnerships such as the multi-year Hearing the Voice project with Durham University. EIBF said Gulliver had also been a "passionate" campaigner for programming which opens the festival to new audiences, with his highest-profile success the development and growth of the free Unbound programme.
Book festival director Nick Barley said: "Roland has applied his exceptional creative skills to every facet of the complex book festival programme. His talents have included incisive research that has uncovered emerging superstars; relationship-building with publishers and authors, which has established deep trust with partners across the globe; eye-opening timetabling combinations of authors who I would never have imagined pairing in an event; gimlet-eyed chairing selections—people who so often had just the right skills to put an author at ease; and high-profile, signature event programming that helped the festival write headlines across the literary world.
“His contributions to set-piece events such as The Freedom Papers and Throwing Voices was sophisticated and smart. Roland has, quite simply, had a seismic impact on the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and it has been an unparalleled joy to work with him over the past decade."
Gulliver will continue to work with Barley on the 2020 programme until February; recruitment for a new associate director will take place over the coming weeks.