Dundee Literary Festival

20151024_112650_resized_1It was joyful to be back in Dundee at the Literary Festival and almost inconceivable to think it had been a year since the last one.

We crammed in a good few food reviews over the weekend, including stops at Tony’s Diner, the DCA, Medina and Pacamara, but there was much fun to be had in between all of the eating.

I made it along to four events at the festival. This was kicked off by a fascinating exploration of the future of books chaired by regular guest quester Claire Stewart. It was then onwards to an exploration of the body and all its roles in a compelling discussion between Professor Sue Black and Dr Gavin Francis.

There was a deeply satisfying food and drink element to the Suffragettes: Fact and Fiction session, with Lucy Ribchester et al, as this was accompanied with bottles of ale and absolutely sensational macaroni pies from Clark’s Bakery.

Venue for suffragette fun

Venue for suffragette fun

I rounded out the cultural selection with what was rather shamefully my first trip to bask in the glory of Rally & Broad. Along with the poetic stylings of Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum, we had more from Lucy Ribchester alongside the guitar stylings of Toby Mottershead.

With an end of night stop at the Phoenix Bar, it was then back to Anderson’s Guest House for a snooze prolonged by the clocks falling back.

The following morning’s breakfast, cooked by the loquacious Mr Anderson, was really good with particularly good sausage and black pudding.

Excellent cake selection

Excellent cake selection

I then swung by to catch a little sample of the Ex Libris Book Fair, a cuppa from Camp Battenberg, then it was back down the road to Edinburgh.

The Dundee Literary Festival is such a good event, with this year’s exceeding expectations and then some. The whole atmosphere of the place feels abuzz with creative exchanges and a real sense of interaction, collaboration and generative thinking between the audience and the authors, which is a pretty neat bag of tricks to pull off.

Festival Director Peggy Hughes played a blinder, as usual, and has set the bar plenty high enough for herself for what will come next.

I can’t wait to be back in Dundee and will be sure to visit Silent Dundee, their Literary Lock-In, and other various events throughout the year, in advance of the 2016 Festival, next year.

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