Jersey Festival of Words
The organisers of Jersey Festival of Words say they are looking forward to the literary festival’s return after a two-year hiatus.
This year’s festival, which runs between September 21st and 25th and will see the majority of events taking place in a 400 seat marquee in Howard David Park and the creation of a surrounding festival village comprising satellite stages, a bookshop and local food vendors. Other venues include Jersey Arts Centre, Jersey Library and Catel Fort.
“Given the continued closure of the Jersey Opera House we’ve been forced to think creatively,’ said Festival chairman Jennifer Bridge. ‘The move to a marquee in Howard Davis Park presents an opportunity to encapsulate the literary festival tent tradition while also refreshing and enlivening the festival after the Covid-enforced pause. We look forward to welcoming back our familiar festival goers and encouraging a new audience at this exciting new venue.”
The first tranche of festival events includes talks and interviews with writers including international bestselling author Sebastian Faulks CBE, author and journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and historian Tracy Borman.
A special Folio Academy session sponsored by Rathbones International will see Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks discussing his new novel Snow Country, the second in a planned Austrian trilogy that spans the first half of the 20th century and the reshaping of Europe through war. Historian Tracy Borman’s 2021 new book Crown and Sceptre explores one thousand years of British monarchy leading up to this year’s Diamond Jubilee, while journalist Sarfraz Manzoor – the inspiration for recent movie Blinded By the Light, about a young Pakistani immigrant with a love of Bruce Springsteen – will be discussing They, a personal exploration of a divided Britain, detailing his hopes for bridging the differences between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Also confirmed is eighteen-year-old magician Dan Rhodes, one of the most successful and beloved YouTuber and TikTok influencers in the world, whose first book The Magic is due to be released by publisher Headline this August.
Established in 2015, the five-day literary festival features a range of visiting and Jersey-based writers, workshops and competitions, and has previously attracted big names such as Michael Morpurgo, Carol Ann Duffy, Clare Balding and Richard Dawkins.
This year’s festival has received sponsorship from a number of local organisations including the Jersey Community Foundation and main festival sponsor Highvern. “We are delighted to be sponsoring this much-loved festival on its return to our local events calendar,’ said Martin Hall, Highvern Chief Executive. ‘Hopefully with our support we can encourage more people to visit this year’s festival to celebrate the power of both literature and words.”
The Festival has also benefited from States funding, with Minister with responsibility for Arts and Culture Kirsten Morel saying: “We are proud to provide support to the Festival of Words because it has proven to deliver extraordinary value to our community and to the arts and cultural life of Jersey. We want to help the festival dust itself down from the disruption of Covid and enable it to take the next steps in its growth and evolution.”