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International festival star confirms Rochdale performance

Press release   •   May 08, 2014 17:03 BST

Multi award winning writer and poet Jackie Kay MBE has confirmed an appearance at Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival later this year.

Jackie, a prolific writer of short stories, novels, poetry and a sell-out guest at festivals across the UK will perform at the three day festival on Saturday 25 October.

Kay's awareness of her different heritages inspired her first book of poetry, ‘The Adoption Papers’ – which won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year. Subsequent collections and her celebrated first novel, ‘Trumpet’, have continued to explore issues of cultural and sexual identity. She’s also written critically acclaimed stage plays, children’s poetry, and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio.

The trip to Rochdale won’t be a long one for Jackie, now living in Manchester, who is also Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.  In 2006 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. 

The festival runs from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 October, with a feast of events covering drama, comedy, dance, music, theatre, films, visual arts and children’s shows.  Preview events will also be held across the borough earlier in October.

The captivating speaker joins the line up alongside the previously announced singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan, comedian Dave Spikey and poet Ian Mcmillan.

The festival will include guest speakers, authors, writers and local arts organisations and is aimed at encouraging more people to engage in reading and philosophy. It will include events at venues in Rochdale town centre and boroughwide, aimed at all ages.

More authors, acts, performers and workshops will be confirmed later this month. 

The festival is due to the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

For information about appearing at the festival or getting involved in other ways, email

For festival updates on Twitter connect with @RochdaleLitFest

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest. 

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