Porter, Sandbrook and Hadley to guest curate 70th Cheltenham Literature Festival

Porter, Sandbrook and Hadley to guest curate 70th Cheltenham Literature Festival

Max Porter, Dominic Sandbrook, Tessa Hadley, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené are among the guest curators for the Times and the Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

Cheltenham, the world’s first literary festival, will have a programme of 500 events from 4th to 13th October. As part of its ‘Seven at Seventy’ project, seven guest curators will lend their voices and expertise to the programming team led by Nicola Tuxworth. It includes a unique set of discussions exploring some of the key social and cultural touchpoints from the past seven decades, including the novels that have defined our times. 

Poet and Out-Spoken founder Anthony Anaxagorou, head of Chatham House US, Leslie Vinjamuri, and children’s author Robin Stevens will also serve as curators.

Porter said: "I'm honoured to be given a chance to curate these events at Cheltenham. The open-mindedness of the festival, their energy for collaboration and experimentation is thrilling. I'll be bringing events to Cheltenham which use improvisation, music and play. We are planning to get the text up off the page, walking, talking, singing into the festival and into the world. We want to ask difficult questions, unpack things, plant strange language seeds, and give visitors to the festival unusual and beautiful experiences to take away with them."

Seven literature festivals around the world, including events in Tokyo, Toronto and San Francisco are also sending writers to join the programme.

The first taster of this year’s programme will be unveiled on 1st July, with the full programme on 16th August. The 2019 ‘Literature for Schools’ programme went on sale this week featuring authors such as Cressida Cowell, Kit De Waal and Patrice Lawrence.

The first taster of this year’s astonishing programme will be unveiled on 1 July, with the full programme on 16 August. The 2019 ‘Literature for Schools’ programme went on sale this week featuring award-winning authors such as Cressida Cowell, Kit De Waal and Patrice Lawrence and complementing the year-round education outreach work by the Festival.

Tuxworth, the festival’s head of programming, said: “It is an honour to curate the 70th anniversary programme and the Seven at Seventy project. Seven at Seventy reflects the rich heritage of the Festival as well as looking towards the future. Here’s to 70 more years.”