I have been absent because of the current crisis, but I’m here to tell you about the wonderful #StayAtHome!LiteraryFestival, organised at lightening speed by the brilliant Carolyn Jess-Cooke in partnership with Paper Nations.
A flood of writers and artists responded to Carolyn’s initial Tweet about the idea on Twitter and within a few days the festival was born! The festival runs from 27 March – 11 April, so there is a packed programme of events still to come.
My reading at the weekend was a lovely experience – it was uplifting to be connected with warm, interested, enthusiastic people in an intimate space during this difficult time. I also chaired Jane Burn’s fantastic reading yesterday, where we talked about the adventures possible through langauge and ‘word rain’ and the way that stories and poems might get us through.
We are all facing different challenges at the moment. The festival aims to ‘celebrate the power of writing and reading in preventing loneliness’ and to champion ‘connectivity and community amidst social distancing.’ If you get even a sliver of time in the next two weeks please do check out the programme and join us. Everything is free and there’s no need to book – you just click on the Zoom link on the programme to join.