Welcome to this year’s Booked! literary festival brought to you by West Dunbartonshire Council’s Libraries and Cultural Services section with sponsorship from Creative Scotland. We are keen to build on previous success and following on from last year’s spectacular Cabaret event we will be hosting another Cabaret line-up in Gartocharn’s Millennium Hall. We are always looking to innovate and this year we will be incorporating our schools programme into Booked! with events in each of our High Schools. We are also marking the launch of the forthcoming Comic Invention exhibition with a special talk by one of Britain’s leading academics on comics and graphic novels, Dr Mel Gibson.
Booked! 2017 offers a wide range of authors, poets, and singer-songwriters and this year’s line-up has something for everyone. We are delighted to welcome Glasgow Girl Amal Azzudin, who will open the festival with our Alistair Pearson Lecture. Recently appointed as ambassador for The Scottish Refugee Council, and last year named as a young outstanding woman of Scotland by both the Young Women’s Movement and the Saltire Society, this will be an inspiring start to the festival.
Week one continues with Julian Glover and an exploration of the life of Thomas Telford, possibly the most extraordinary engineer Britain has ever produced, (fans of Isambard Kingdom Brunel may beg to differ). Booked! maintains its tradition of featuring debut novelists and this year we have Gail Honeyman and Polly Clarke talking about their respective debuts, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Larchfield. Both have received critical plaudits and are rising stars of the future.
Our event with sports journalist Hugh Keevins last year was a big hit and this time round Hugh will be chairing a panel featuring Old Firm legends Derek Johnstone and Murdo MacLeod. With a free pie and Bovril at half time this promises to be a sell out so don’t miss out on tickets!
It is a major coup to have former Home Secretary Alan Johnson appear at Booked! – he will be talking with Sunday Herald editor, Neil Mackay, about the third volume of his highly regarded autobiography in which he discloses the realities of being an MP and holding high office.
The line-up continues with award winning journalist Chitra Ramaswamy who will be talking about her amazing book Expecting which is a meditation on the miracle of pregnancy.
We have three treats to tempt those who love poetry, spoken word and song: Ten Writers Telling Lies is a unique collaboration between a group of storytellers and poets, and the singer-songwriter Jim Byrne; we also welcome the wonderful Billy Letford who rose to fame as the ‘roofer poet’; Billy is an electrifying performer and this event should not be missed.
To complete the triple our Friday night Cabaret featuring renowned singer-songwriter Roddy Hart as well as local star, Sophie Rogers will be a fantastic evening of entertainment. Kevin P Gilday, will compere and perform and he will be accompanied by two outstanding performance poets, Cat Hepburn and Leyla Josephine.
Booked! will go out with a bang as we welcome back crime fiction heavyweight Stuart MacBride for our final event of 2017.
We are delighted to present such a varied and stimulating programme for Booked! 2017. Our Festival is a highlight of the cultural calendar in West Dunbartonshire and we look forward to your continued support of Libraries and Cultural Services.
All events are FREE to attend with exception of the BOOKED! Cabaret which has a £5 charge.