Next week would have marked the opening day of Greenway Literary Festival 2020. We were delighted to have been invited back to programme the festival for a second year at this National Trust English Riviera property which belonged to literary great and ‘Queen of Crime’, Agatha Christie.
The 2020 festival was due to kick off with bestselling author Joanna Trollope leading a week of events with twenty-seven authors for both adults and children from 8th – 14th June. Plans were afoot and the big reveal was planned, then in a major plot twist, the country went into lockdown and as a festival team, we had to take the decision to postpone the event in line with Government guidance.
We were excited about the rich and diverse programme that we had lined up for June 2020, but plans are in motion for a reprise next year and we now take this opportunity to look back at the buzz around last year’s inaugural line up.
A particular highlight for us was poet Roger Robinson introducing crowds at Greenway to his latest collection, A Portable Paradise. The festival tent came to life with intensely passionate and powerful poetry, which moved and transported the audience, even beyond the rain which pelted overhead! Since his appearance at Greenway 2019 and his star turn that same summer for our Quay Words programme at Exeter Custom House, Roger has gone on to win accolades including the TS Eliot Prize and the Ondaatje Prize. We look forward to seeing what he does next and to teaming up with him in the future.
It was our pleasure to work again with the inspirational writer for young adults, Muhammad Khan, whose real, complex and relatable characters get right to the heart of what it’s like to be young today. Muhammad bases his work on his experiences as a maths teacher and tackles serious subjects with a deceptive lightness of touch, both in person and in his writing. We last worked with him in Bristol and we loved welcoming him to Greenway.
At Literature Works we’re all about creating rich experiences of literature to be enjoyed by all. We love that Greenway is an idyllic setting steeped in literary heritage and set in sweeping, suspenseful grounds. The perfect backdrop for a programme which pushes boundaries and provides a platform for a collaboration between authors who have become household names and those who are stars in the making. This sentiment is echoed by Chair of Literature Works and the International Agatha Christie Festival, Heather Norman-Soderlind:
“We’re delighted to partner with the National Trust to programme a literary festival which both honours Greenway’s writing heritage and celebrates the talent and diversity of authors and poets writing in England today.”
We’re working closely with the National Trust to bring you a festival programme in 2021 and we will keep you updated.