Literature Festival - South Specific

'The British Lawnmower Museum is one of the nation’s great treasures. We British are rightly proud of our lawns, which give our green and pleasant land a lot of its green-and-pleasant-ness. The lawnmower, so redolent of Sunday morning pottering in the garden and glorious sixes scored over baize-smooth cricket pitches, is one of the things that make us who we are.' This is an excerpt from the book Bollocks to Alton Towers, whose four authors are appearing at South Specific, the main literary event in the Brighton Festival, which is taking place at the Gardner Arts Centre this weekend. The festival offers workshops and talks from a number of the southern counties’ top writers, designed for readers and writers alike. Bollocks to Alton Towers is an irreverent look at how we Brits publicly display our obsessions, from garden gnome exhibitions to lawnmower museums.

It’s a far cry from the event that follows it, a discussion of poetry from two of the country’s best exponents of the art, Penelope Shuttle and Fiona Sampson. Shuttle, the widow of Peter Redgrove, is shortly to publish a collection about bereavement, Redgrove’s Wife. Sampson, editor of the Poetry Review, has just published the verse-novel The Distance Between Us. Other writers to appear in today’s programme include Katherine McMahon, Sophia MacDougall and Segun Afolabi. There is also a series of innovative collaborations between visual artists and poets, excerpts of which have been published in Viva Lewes, entitled Project Poetry. AG

Viva Beachy Head… and Bollocks to Alton Towers
Gardner Arts Centre, Sussex University
When? 11pm-9.30
How Much? £12/£8 (£1 off if you say ‘Viva Lewes’)
Gardner Arts
(t) 01273 685861
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