Keith Parkins | 03.11.2007 13:12
It attracts all sorts from local poet Alwyn Marriage reading her poetry, to international bestseller and co-founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction Kate Mosse, to the likes of Roy Hattersley and Douglas Hurd.
Not living in Guildford I only managed to attend two events.
In the first week local poet Alwyn Marriage reading a selection of poetry at the Guildford Institute from her recently published collection Touching Earth.
I was very impressed by Alwyn Marriage, a natural poet.
In the second week I caught Changing Lives at the Electric Theatre, part of a national tour.
This was unusual, three actors adding drama to selected poetry from collections published by Bloodaxe Books, something between a poetry reading and a play.
A former power station by the River Wey, the Electric Theatre is a small intimate theatre. One is almost among the players.
Later, the actors sat in the bar and chatted with people. The Electric Theatre is that sort of place.
I would have liked to have met Richard Mabey author of Food For Free and gone to the Amnesty International event featuring former British Ambassador Craig Murray, who there has been a recent crude attempt to censor on Indymedia UK. Also the PEN-Amnesty International event, selected readings from Orhan Pamuk, Anna Politkovskaya and other persecuted writers and dissidents, but that was on the last Saturday, the same day as the Anarchist Bookfair in London.
At the Anarchist Bookfair I did though pick up from the Indymedia stall, We – the unauthorised Arundhati Roy, her famous Come September speech set against music and images.
Local writer Irene Black, author of The Moon's Complexion, and fellow writers from local publisher Goldenford, took advantage of the Guildford Book Festival and set up a lunchtime book signing stall most lunchtimes at the Guildford Institute.