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Literary Festival reveals 2019 speakers

Literary Festival reveals 2019 speakers

Monday 18 February 2019

Literary Festival reveals 2019 speakers

The organisers of the Guernsey Literary Festival have released details about this year's event with a bumper line up of guest speakers confirmed to visit the island at the beginning of May.

Writer, actor and comedian Adam Kay (pictured above), is among them. His book 'This is going to Hurt' was a Sunday Times number one best seller.

Among the other major speakers for the 2019 Literary Festival, between 1 and 6 May, are novelist Lionel Shriver, author Matt Haig, and poet and campaigner Lemn Sissay. 

Lionel Shriver, whose novel 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' propelled her to national and international fame – the book has since been made into a major feature film – will centre her talk on her latest book, which is a collection of short stories. 

Lionel Shriver

Pictured: Lionel Shriver. 

Bestselling author Matt Haig will be talking about his book 'Notes on a Nervous Planet' that tackles the questions that he says so often plague our thoughts like, how can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?

Matt Haig

Pictured: Matt Haig. 

Lemn Sissay MBE will also be in the island for the Festival. He is a poet renowned for his strong, lyrical poems on social and family themes and he was official poet of the 2012 London Olympics and the 2015 FA Cup and is Chancellor of the University of Manchester.

Lemn Sissay

Pictured: Lemn Sissay MBE. 

During past Guernsey Literary Festivals, some of the most popular events have featured television and radio presenters who have written books. With that knowledge, the organisers have booked two more and Libby Purves and Lucy Siegle will be speaking at this May's event.

Libby Purves 

Pictured: Libby Purves OBE. 

In her talk On and Off the Air, Libby Purves OBE will speak about her career as a writer, theatre critic and broadcaster. She presented BBC Radio 4’s Midweek for 33 years and is a Times columnist as well as the author of 12 novels and books on subjects as diverse as sailing, childcare and family life.

In her event, she'll talk about her long career in radio as well as her writing. 

Lucy Siegle is an environmental campaigner who is a regular on BBC TV’s The One Show and columnist for the Observer and the Guardian. Her latest book, Turning the Tide on Plasticprovides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. 

Lucy Siegle 

Pictured: Lucy Spiegle. 

The Festival, which is organised by a team of volunteers, is based in venues around St Peter Port, including St James, the Festival Hub in Market Street and the Guille Alles Library. It relies heavily on sponsorship through a number of private firms and the Guernsey Arts Commission.

As previously, there will be educational events for local schools as well as the ticketed events for the public to attend. A series of workshops are also being planned along with the annual poetry competition and writing competition for schoolchildren.

There's more information at

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