New Writing Worlds literary festival

Nobel and double Man Booker prize winner JM Coetzee will be joining an exciting line-up of leading international writers at New Writing Worlds 08, Human:Nature, a literary festival across Norwich and Norfolk from June 15-20.

Nobel and double Man Booker prize winner JM Coetzee will be joining an exciting line-up of leading international writers at New Writing Worlds 08, Human:Nature, a literary festival across Norwich and Norfolk from June 15-20. Coetzee, who has not appeared in the UK for many years, will give a reading at the UEA.

Other New Writing Worlds events include an afternoon of readings from East Anglian nature writers, children's storytelling and events at the Bishop's Garden in Norwich; an evening of live literature and music; a debate at the Norwich Playhouse; free readings at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium library and more.

The Human:Nature theme of this year's New Writing Worlds focuses on the environment, offering the organizer, New Writing Partnership, the opportunity to bring together East Anglia's two areas of excellence in the fields of creative writing and environmental impact studies.

Working with key partners such as the RSPB, New Writing Worlds will pose environmental questions to top writers from across the world, world class environmentalists and activists, as well as a good crop of the famed nature writers from East Anglia itself.

“The East of England is at the heart of the renaissance in nature writing in the UK, with new books in the past year from Richard Mabey, Mark Cocker, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths and the much-missed Roger Deakin,” said Chris Gribble, chief executive of New Writing Partnership. “In fact, Norwich has an international reputation in both the fields of creative writing and environmental impact studies, and so it makes sense to bring to the city the world's best writers on these topics.

“New Writing Worlds offers the chance to meet and talk to writers, and the opportunity for the writers themselves to debate the effects of our changing relationship to nature on their work and the wider literary world.”

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The festival starts with Norfolk Reads and Writes, which consists of “meet the author” sessions and creative writing workshops, from the end of May and delivered in libraries and at nature reserves across Norfolk.

t To find out more about New Writing Worlds, Human:Nature please go to, call 01603 877177 or email info@


t Partners: EDP, RSPB and the Norfolk Library and Information Service. With many thanks to The Foyle Foundation.


Each year, New Writing Worlds has five official writers in residence as part of the wider line-up. These writers take place in the entire week's events and the salon. This years writers are:

t CK Williams: Pulitzer prize-winning US poet.

t Gwyneth Lewis: The first Welsh National poet and acclaimed author.

t Gretel Ehrlich: Leading US wilderness writer and activist, recipient of Whiting and Guggenheim awards, among many others.

t Adam Thorpe: Award-winning poet and author.

t Richard Mabey: Distinguished English nature writer.


Norfolk Reads and Writes takes reading and writing opportunities out to the people of Norfolk, and introduces this year's New Writing Worlds. It works with libraries, the RSPB and three writers to offer “Meet the Author” and creative writing sessions at libraries and RSPB nature reserves across Norfolk, coinciding with the launch of the BookCrossing scheme. See the writers at www.newwriting

Meet the author -

Read a featured writer's work, then meet the author. These FREE sessions are open to book groups or any interested individual.

t The Meanest Flower with Mimi Khalvati. Friday, May 30, Diss Library, 01379 642609, 7pm; Saturday, May 31, Poringland Library. Call Eileen Brock on 01603 439981, 4pm.

t Crow Country with Mark Cocker. Thursday, June 5, Acle Library. Call 01493 750693, 7.30pm.

t Oystercatchers with Susan Fletcher. Friday, June 13, Hunstanton Library, 01485 532280, 7pm..

Creative writing sessions -

Designed for all, the sessions take place on RSPB nature reserves, using nature as inspiration. Booking is essential on 01603 877177.

t The Poet's Eye Creative Writing Workshop with Mimi Khalvati. Saturday, May 31, RSPB Rockland Marshes nature reserve and Poringland Library, 10am-1pm, £10.

t The Naturalist's Eye Creative Writing Workshop with Mark Cocker. Friday, June 6, RSPB Strumpshaw Fen nature reserve and Brundall Library, 9am-1.30pm, £10.

t The Storyteller's Eye Creative Writing Workshop with Susan Fletcher. Friday, June 13, RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve, 9am-12noon, £10.

BookCrossing -

Norfolk became part of the world's biggest book club with the launch of Norfolk Reads and Writes. On April 16, about 100 books were sent out across Norfolk. Now the New Writing Partnership wants to see how far they migrated.

If you see a book lost in a café, a shop, or on the bus, pick it up and check for the Norfolk Reads and Writes BookCrossing sticker inside the front cover.

Enjoy it, register your name on the BookCrossing website, then leave it somewhere else for another reader.

Those involved in the chain of the book which travels furthest by the end of New Writing Worlds will win a prize, with winners announced at the end of June.

BookCrossing has more than four million books registered. Find out more at and keep up with news at

Worlds readings -

These will be held from June 16-19 in Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library Express Library (ground floor to the left of the main doors). The event will run from 5-6pm and it's FREE with no need to book.

t Adam Thorpe and Mimi Khalvati. Monday, June 16

t CK Williams, Adam Zagajewski and Gwyneth Lewis. Tuesday, June 17

t Tishani Doshi, Tijs Goldschmidt and Jonty Driver. Thursday, June 19

An afternoon at the Bishop's Garden -

An afternoon of readings, book stalls, children's activities, refreshments and more will be held in the beautiful setting of the Bishop's garden on Sunday, June 15. The garden is near the Cathedral entrance on Palace Street and the event runs from 2-5pm. Cost is £2.50 at the entrance.

The event is being run in partnership with the RSPB and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy while listening to the new wave of East Anglian nature writers.

For the children, there will be storytelling, face-painting, owl pelleting, moth trapping and stalls. It is advised to arrive early.

t 2.15-3pm Mark Cocker and Joanna Guthrie

t 3.15-4pm Richard Mabey and Jay Griffiths

t 4.15-4.45pm Charles Rangeley-Wilson

t 2.45-3.15pm/4.15-4.45pm Charlie Wilson

Future imperfect? The debate -

With alarming statistics on the environment, who will save the planet - writers, scientists, politicians or activists? And is it all really as bad as it seems?

The debate will run on Monday, June 16 at Norwich Playhouse, St George's Street, from 8-9.45pm. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions) from the box office on 01603 598598. It has been organised in partnership with the RSPB.

Norfolk's world-renowned reputation in the fields of creative writing and environmental science are represented by writer Giles Foden and Professor Andrew Watson. They will be joined by director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, RSPB scientist Professor Rhys Green, local MP Ian Gibson and panel chairman Graham Creelman OBE. In the second half, the audience will be able to question the panel.

Turning up the temperature -

This evening of live literature and music will be held at Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedict's on Tuesday, June 17, from 8-9.30pm.

There is a bar until 11pm and tickets are £7 (£5 concessions) from the box office on 01603 660352.

The evening features Ben Mellor, Kei Miller and Samia Malik and is being run in support of Refugee Week and the City of Refuge Shahrazad programme.

Connecting Worlds -

This is an evening of exploration, discovery and global perspectives against a backdrop of stunning exhibits and objects.

The FREE event, on Wednesday, June 18, at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 5pm-8pm, features readings and talks from Mia Couto, Geoff Dyer, Gretel Ehrlich and José Eduardo Agualusa.

In the breaks there will be the chance to watch a set of short films made by some of Norwich's young people as part of a City of Refuge project.

This event is being run as part of Refugee Week and there is no need to book.

JM Coetzee -

New Writing Worlds is honoured to welcome the Nobel Prize winner JM Coetzee to Norwich to read from his work at the UEA on Thursday, June 19. The event will run from 7.30-8.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1 and tickets are £5 (no concessions) from 01603 508050. The Observer literary editor Robert McCrum said: “Coetzee exhibits a near biblical simplicity of prose and narrative, addressing the human condition while meditating on post-apartheid South Africa - a natural Nobel laureate.”

Refugee Week and Norwich City of Refuge -

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.

To find out more about refugee week go to

As a City of Refuge, Norwich is part of a network of more than 35 European cities that offers a place of safety for exiled writers under threat for exercising their freedom of expression.

Norwich is the first of these cities to root the scheme in an extensive community programme including schools projects, training programmes, public events and partnership work.

To find out more about Norwich, City of Refuge go to www.newwritingpartnership.

t Mia Couto and José Agualusa: Readings.

t Geoff Dyer: Land Art in New Mexico.

t Gretel Ehrlich: Travels through Ice.

Monday, June 16-Sunday, June 22

NOTE: Dates, times, prices, artists and programme are correct at time of going to press, but may be subject to change.