Countdown to Leeds literary festival that sounds perfect for radio listeners

Chapel FM in east Leeds.
Chapel FM in east Leeds.

Radio listeners will be able to tune into the power of the written and spoken word during a literary festival taking place in Leeds next month.

Writing on Air is running at the Chapel FM arts centre and performance complex on York Road in Seacroft from March 21 to 24.

It will see around 200 writers and community members coming together for more than 60 events, including panel discussions, drama performances and readings.

And, in an additional creative twist which marks the festival out as one of a kind, those events will be broadcast on East Leeds FM, a community radio station based at the York Road centre.

The celebration is being staged for the fourth time, with its highlights set to include:

* A live discussion with Jo Berry, who has spent the last 18 years in dialogue with the former IRA man who planted the bomb which killed her father when it exploded at the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984;

* A selection of spoken word performances by the Manifesto in Verse project, exploring how borders affect personal, public and political lives;

* An outside broadcast from Leeds Central Library that has been billed as a “poetic response” by local writers Khadijah Ibrahiim, Malika Booker and Vahni Capildeo to a recent British Library exhibition entitled Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land.

Peter Spafford, director of words at Chapel FM, said: “Writing on Air is unique for two reasons – it’s a broadcast literature festival, and all programmes are made by writers and readers themselves, some of whom are creating their own shows for the first time with our professional support.

“Chapel FM is a hub for creativity and Writing on Air brings writers and readers of all ages together to meet, talk and create. I can’t wait for it to begin.”

For further information about the festival, including ticket booking details, visit the website.