You may or may not know this about me but I work for a little known Art Charity called Creative Folkestone, down by the seaside in a town called..well Folkestone! However, I am a finance bod, who just happens to have a huge passion for books and films, hence this blog!
This year the theme (because there is always a theme!) is The Shape of Things to Come, this has been led by the Curators Liam Browne and Seán Doran of Arts Overs Borders. It is an exciting programme of music, talks, film and workshops and I will be highlighting some of these over the next couple of days.
Here is in a nutshell, is what our festival is about :
It draws inspiration from the philosophy and spirit of HG Wells, who lived and wrote in Folkestone. Taking place in November, the festival is an annual invitation to gather, tell stories, exchange ideas and keep warm together.
The futures on all subjects will be the driving force of the new Festival vision. All subjects under the sun will be included.
While this will not be an HG Wells festival, his philosophy and spirit, will inspire the Festival’s themes. Wells was a futurist who was interested in the everyday, a utopian as well as a realist and, seeing himself as a journalist more than literary lion, a pragmatist. He also lived in Folkestone and the Festival will draw further inspiration and relevance from the town.
Starting Friday 15th November at 5.30 pm (so if you are in the area come and say hi!!) we have our Folkestone Book Festival kicking off, starting with our Christmas Lights, down the Old High Street, being switched on. The lights have always been switched on by the opening speaker for the festival. In previous years we have Kit de Waal, Tracy Chevalier, Jonathan Coe, Louis de Bernieres to name a few.
This year we are really excited to have Ben Okri switch on our lights! So who is Ben?
Ben Okri was born in Minna, Nigeria. His childhood was divided between Nigeria, where he saw first-hand the consequences of war, and London. His novel The Freedom Artist was published by Head of Zeus in 2019.
Ben Okri is a poet, novelist, essayist, short story writer, anthologist, aphorist, and playwright. He has also written film scripts. His works have won numerous national and international prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction.
After turning the lights on at 7 pm, he will be speaking in the auditorium at Folkestone Quarterhouse (my place of work 😉), his talk Prayer for the Living is about “his new collection and how he brings together stories from different worlds that blur the lines between illusion and reality.”
How fab does this sound! Get your tickets here!
If that was not enough for you! There is will also be local choirs and brass bands about to get you in the festive mood along with the light switching. Plus do look out for the Christmas Window displays, every year there is a competition for the best display and our tenants do like to get a bit competitive!! It is also an excuse to do some late night shopping!
Hope to see you there!
Until next time xxx (and there will be a lot in the next few days!)