Booker Prize-winner to join Literary Leicester Festival

Booker Prize-winner Marlon James will be headlining the revival of the Literary Leicester Festival.

He will be joined by author and University of Leicester alumnus Jeffrey Boakye, and novelist Peter Kalu in conversation with Professor Corinne Fowler, as part of the free, three-event line up.

Festival Director and Associate Director of Creative Writing at the University of Leicester Harry Whitehead said: “Our focus has always been on inclusivity and diversity, particularly given the university’s place at the heart of one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Britain

“Going digital in 2021 has offered us the rare opportunity to host global superstar author, Marlon James, live from New York, in conversation with Dr Michael Bucknor from the University of the West Indies, in Jamaica.

“And Jeffrey Boakye is one of our country’s most important commentators on race, education and culture.

“Meanwhile, the School of Arts’ very own Professor Corinne Fowler, whose work on colonialism and rural racism has put her at the centre of the current national debate on how the UK’s history should be understood and taught, will open the event.”

The festival first opened its doors in 2008 as part of the University of Leicester’s new library launch.

Its popularity meant it carried on as an annual festival, bringing in local and national audiences in the thousands, in collaboration with the Phoenix and the Curve among others, until its temporary closure in 2018.

Literary Leicester has seen some of the world’s great authors, filmmakers, historians and cultural commentators.

Dr Whitehead added: “Literary Leicester is one of the few completely free literary festivals in the UK.

“I feel immensely proud that we can put the festival back at the heart of Leicester’s cultural life.”

The free digital events will be held on 17, 18 and 19 March, paving the way for the festival’s full return in 2022.