Leeds Lit Fest: 2 - 7 March 2021

Leeds Lit Fest is back! Returning for its third year in the face of significant challenges and uncertainty, the city’s festival of words and thought could not be more needed. This year, with the world pivoted to digital in the face of the pandemic, the 6 days of Leeds Lit Fest will take place entirely online.

There are a total of 26 events featuring more than 50 writers and performers. Catch up with bestselling authors such as Monique Roffey (fresh from her 2020 Costa Book Award win for The Mermaid of Black Conch), crime fiction writer Peter James, Andrea Levy and Iain Dale. Or celebrate International Women’s Day with the festival with a whole host of fantastic events with female authors, journalists and poets.

There is all this and more! For details of all the events visit the Leeds Lit fest website; www.leedslitfest.co.uk

Leeds Lit Fest: Leeds Libraries Events

As proud partners in the Lit Fest we are proud to announce our family events as part of the festival. Both these events are free but you need to book to ensure your place.


Saturday 6 March, 11.00am

Come and join Harry Heape as he takes you on a big wiggly adventure with Shiny Pippin and all her friends. Harry’s Shiny Pippin books have been making children from the ages of 6 -96 laugh like drains from Gran’s End to Dawn O’Groats since they were first invented.

Join us for some grade A book fun to celebrate his work with a fun and interactive event for children. Find out the truth about the real Harry Heape, help unpack Granny’s backpack, build comic characters, and pick up handy tips on how to put them into a funny story that has a beginning, a muddle and an end.


Saturday 6 March, 2.00pm

Liz Million is a fantastically funny, professional and whacky children’s Illustrator of There’s a Crocodile in the House, Digger and many more. Come along to this lively session to draw along with Liz. She'll show you how to create fab characters using weird shapes and how to bring your cartoons to life using expressions and action lines! Draw humans, animals and much more. Suitable for ages 5 to 105 yrs.

Both these events and all other Leeds Lit Fest events can be booked via the Leeds Lit Fest website: www.leedslitfest.co.uk/whats-on/

LGBT History Month

BONA! A History of Polari

Wednesday 17 February, 7.00pm

Discover a hidden slice of queer history!

In the 1950s and 60s the 'gay language' Polari was used to express hidden desires. This coded way of speaking could allow LGBT people to speak freely, knowing that straight society wouldn't be able to understand what they were saying. It had its roots much further in the past, developing from words used by various marginalised groups throughout history.

This year, our very own librarian Ian Nipper can’t troll along to libraries, museums and other fabulosa venues, so he’s coming to you from his bijou lattie to dish the dirt about the history of Polari, the (almost) lost secret language of gay men. Find out where it came from, how it evolved and why it started to die out. You’ll be surprised at how it’s left its mark on popular culture and heartened to hear of its resurgence on the cabaret scene.

To book a ticket, please visit: www.ticketsource.co.uk/leedslibraryevents

We are very proud to be a partner in the British Library’s Living Knowledge Network allowing us access to the rich and diverse programme of activity curated by the British Library. We have a couple of great Living Knowledge Network events that you can watch live from your living rooms to celebrate LGBT History Month.

Life Drawing with Alison Bechdel

Wednesday 17 February, 7.30 – 8.30pm

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist and creator of the Bechdel Test, a lens on cinema gender politics which has gained global recognition. Her work is preoccupied with the overlap of the political and the personal spheres, the relationship of the self to the world outside.

Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, she came to critical and commercial success in 2006 with her graphic memoir Fun Home, which was subsequently adapted as a musical and won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. This was followed by her second graphic memoir Are You My Mother?

Watch the event here: living-knowledge-network.co.uk/library/life-drawing-with-alison-bechdel

Bessie Smith: Jackie Kay in conversation with Bernardine Evaristo

Thursday 18 February, 7.30 – 8.45pm

The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the1920s and 30s.

As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about new her book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose.

Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle.

Watch the event here: living-knowledge-network.co.uk/library/bessie-smith-jackie-kay-in-conversation-with-bernardine-evaristo

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