Preview: Ilkley Literature Festival

As media partner to Ilkley Literature Festival, let us tell you about these great events for Saturday

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“Thou shalt always eat with thy hands, thou should most definitely worship leftovers, and thou must celebrate the stinkiest of foods.” So will say food writer Jay Rayner when he leads his audience to the edible promised land and serves up his book The Ten (Food) Commandments at Ilkley literature Festival at Kings Hall on 15 October.

Rayner is just one of the highlights of Saturday 15 October at the Ilkley Literature Festival. With a number of sold-out events behind it, there’s still a chance to buy tickets for some great ones coming up.

Lempen Puppets is a great one for kids. Storyteller Peter Grimm opens a box to find a “thing” that takes him on an unusual journey, weaving its way through a medley of well-known Brothers Grimm tales, to finally unlock his imagination and free his stories. That’s at Ilkley Playhouse.

Over at Clarke Foley Centre, award-winning science writer Ed Yong, author of the popular blog Not Exactly Rocket Science, explains the amazing science that means squid can create their own light shows and bacteria can influence our evolution, and even modify our genetic make-up.

Lord Byron’s Manfred and Its Musical Settings explores the relationship between Byron’s work and its musical settings, with speakers from the Leeds University offering insights into Manfred as a poem and excerpts from a previously unknown setting by English composer EJ Loder, rediscovered earlier this year in the Brotherton Library at the university.

In the wake of his highly praised BBC Radio 4 series 21st Century Mythologies, acclaimed Oxford University academic Peter Conrad casts his brilliant beam on subjects from the Queen to the Kardashians, via Banksy, Nando’s, vaping and the launch of the Large Hadron Collider.

Best known for presenting the Bafta-winning BBC2 TV series Coast, Map Man and Great British Journeys, Nicholas Crane (pictured) brilliantly describes the evolution of Britain’s countryside and cities.

For Iraq + 100, Comma Press posed a question to contemporary Iraqi writers: what might your home city look like in the year 2103 – exactly 100 years after the disastrous invasion by the Allies. Escaping the politics of the present, contemporary Arabic writers offer their own spin on science fiction and fantasy. Hassan Blasim, the winner of the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, will discuss and read from this unique anthology.

American author Garth Greenwell discusses the themes of his much lauded debut novel with poet in residence Andrew McMillan.

Malika Booker: How We Sing Our Bodies is a romantic duologue set in the Caribbean that explores the relationship between two male protagonists through poetic text and movement. Aided by two actors, poet Malika Booker and choreographer David Hamilton collaborate to determine “how we talk with our bodies when language fails”.

Big Issue North is proud to once again be media partner to Ilkley Literature Festival. You can find information on all its events at

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