Emma’s picks for SOT Lit Fest 2017



Amongst the eclectic and inspiring programme for the Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival 2017 are some real gems with internationally renowned experts and champions in their fields. Discover some of the events Emma Bridgewater is most looking forward to this June:

“Paula Byrne is an unstoppable force, her enthusiasm for the life stories of intriguing women is palpable and she is a great communicator, I find her utterly compelling and I am hugely looking forward to her session.

“She has written about almost unknown subjects Mary Robinson and Dido Belle (Google these women and you will want both books – I swear it!) as well as a masterly Life of Jane Austen, a new look at Evelyn Waugh and most recently the story of Kick Kennedy.

“She will be interviewed by her distinguished husband Jonathan Bate, so I’m hoping for a session which might be both candid and wide ranging: don’t miss it!” BOOK TICKETS

“Loyd Grossman
became Chairman of the Royal Parks last year, so he is uniquely well placed to join in and to advance our conversation about improving our parks and green spaces in Stoke-on-Trent.

“The Royal Parks cover 5,000 acres and as well as gardens and parkland the organisation care for several cemeteries, and they are responsible for the maintenance of countless buildings statues and monuments- personally I have a million questions for him, and I’m sure you do too- so quick sticks! Book a ticket to see him at the EB Lit Fest on June 8th!!”


“I think that the most remarkable thing about Jonathan Bate is how very lightly he wears his enormous erudition.  And the most unusual thing about him is his frank desire to communicate his love of Shakespeare in particular, and Romantic poetry in a wider sense, well beyond the world of academic study. 

We are so lucky to have him to speak in Stoke on Trent, believe me he is spellbinding and you will I promise, bound out of his session feeling inspired. He will be interviewed by brilliant fellow writer Paula Byrne ( she is also his wife, so the conversation might cover unexpected ground, who knows?). 

And what are his themes? Well, you may feel inspired by him to revisit Shakespeare (again and again), or to learn more about Ted Hughes, or filled perhaps with new appreciation for John Clare and maybe you will even have found a new interest in Ecocriticism- for Professor Bate holds a fascinating opinion that Poetry is where we might save the world. BOOK TICKETS

Clover Stroud is the youngest of my five sisters; her memoir “The Wild Other” has caused something of a sensation in the Book Festival circuit as Clover speaks as she writes, with insight, candour and great emotional force.

Long listed for the Wainwright Prize, her story deals frankly with the emotional aftermath of a family tragedy, and the surprising and challenging ways she found to cope when her world imploded when she was just 16.  Her interviewer is Rowan Pelling, so you should expect an insightful exchange!” BOOK TICKETS