The two day Penistone Literary Festival took place over the weekend to excellent reviews.
Declared “a wonderful addition to the Penistone calendar” by local Councillor, David Griffin, it combined writing workshops, children’s events and readings from local authors and poets with a line-up that included prizewinning Yorkshire poets Helen Mort and Steve Ely whose latest book, ‘Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough’, a biographical work about Hughes’s neglected Mexborough period, is published this month.
A theme of the festival this year was newly published work. Local illustrator and friend of the Festival, Gillian Tyler, showed off her two new commissions; the lovingly illustrated ‘Aunt Sass Christmas Stories’, three previously unpublished tales by Mary Poppins’ author, P L Travers, and the latest Michael Rosen children’s book ‘The Bus Is For Us’.
Newly published former business journalist Michael Taylor also presented his “Wolf of Wall Street equivalent” satirical look at the credit crunch of 2008 and the banking industry in his debut novel, ‘40 by 40’.
Making a return to the Festival for 2015 were local writers’ group, the Penistone Poets, and speaker Cecil Hallas, who recounted his unique and entertaining memories of local notable events.
Accompanied by musician John Sampson, the Festival’s guest of honour this year was Dame Carol Ann Duffy.
The Poet Laureate shared some of her most famous work as well as a moving tribute to the Hillsborough families read to the strains of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
The Festival closed on Sunday with a presentation by “The Bard of Barnsley”, Ian McMillan who read from his newly published “first proper big book” ‘Neither Nowt nor Summat’ about his search for what lies at the heart of Britain’s most independent county, Yorkshire, and its people.
The festival was sponsored by Lavender International and Butcher Residential Estate Agents.
Dates for the 2016 Festival are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.