Popular WORD theme returns to May Fest

Literature fans are in for a treat at this year's May Festival, which has many 'Word' events on offer.

Encompassing poetry, drama and prose in Doric, English, Polish and Gaelic there is plenty to keep literary lovers busy all weekend!

This year’s WORDs &… theme sees writers teaming up to create events combining words with music, film and even dance, earning the innovative programme a generous funding award from Creative Scotland. Writers appearing include Sara Baume, Caroline Criado-Perez, Abir Mukherjee, Liz Lochhead, Alan Spence, and Bernard MacLaverty.

On Friday May 24, Irish poet Micheal O’Siadhail – who also holds an honorary degree from the University – will entertain crowds with a performance from his recent award-winning poem, The Five Quintets.

On Saturday musician Steve Kettley will join festival favourite and former National Poet of Scotland, Liz Lochhead, for a ‘WORDS &…. Music ‘event. Liz and Steve are combining forces to deliver an event featuring comic monologues, poems and saxophone improvisation. Liz and Steve will be joined on Sunday by novelist and biographer James Robertson for an event to celebrate the life and work of Dundee singer-songwriter and dramatist Michael Marra. 

Anyone looking for advice on writing their own songs or poems might be interested in the Turning Stories into Songs Workshop with Shetland fiddler and songwriter Claire White, or Writing Poetry with Jo Gilbert on Sunday, May 26th. Jo, who writes in both English and Doric, will be offering advice to help festival-goers create the poem they have always wanted to write.

Micheal O’ Siadhail said: “I’m excited coming to Aberdeen’s May Festival to read from The Five Quintets and, I hope, the chance to move some hearts and minds.”

Helen Lynch, who is the creative lead for the WORD programme, added: “We have a fantastic WORD programme of events at this year’s May Festival, and look forward to welcoming all our speakers to the University, and to our events in the city and our neighbouring communities of Tillydrone and Powis. With such a varied programme there really is something for everyone and I am sure members of the public who come along will enjoy everything that is on offer!”

The May Festival runs from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26. For more information and to check out the programme, visit www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival. There is lots of offer for all the family with a children’s programme and events at the University, in the city (MayFest City) and, for the first time this year, in Tillydrone and Powis (MayFest Community).