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Poet Ian Mcmillan set for Rochdale’s literature feast

Press release   •   Mar 28, 2014 10:41 GMT

It may still only be March, but the line-up for this year’s Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival is already shaping up to be a cracker.

Poet, broadcaster and comedian Ian Mcmillan is the latest name to be confirmed for the three day festival in October.

The arts extravaganza will include a performance by Ian, one of the most popular poets in Britain. 

As well as hosting ‘The Verb’ every week on BBC Radio 3, he’s a regular on Coast, Pick of the Week, You and YoursandThe Arts Show.  Renowned for his razor sharp delivery and sparkling sense of humour he’s worked extensively on Radio 1,2,3,4 and Five Live as well as for BBC2’s Newsnight Review.  Mcmillan is Poet in Residence for both The Academy of Urbanism and Barnsley FC.  He’s been a castaway on Desert Island Discs and featured with his Orchestra on The South Bank Show.

Last year’s festival headliner Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, describes Ian as a "world class performer.”

During his visit to Rochdale he’ll be performing a show called ‘Taking Myself Home’, which he says is a mixture of stories and poems about his mum and dad and the place he grew up:

"That will be some of it. But I won't know exactly what I'll do until I see the audience.  I love literature festivals, it's like being in a big reading group together. I love that shared excitement."

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.

Already also on the line-up is singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan and comedian Dave Spikey.

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 start to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

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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