The Birmingham Literature Festival Podcast - Welcome to the very first Birmingham Literature Festival podcast, bringing writers and readers together to discuss some of 2020’s best books. Each Thursday we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussions about writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. Join us each week for exciting and inspiring conversations with new, and familiar, writers from the Midlands and beyond.
January, Thomas Glave
This month’s piece is written by Thomas Glave, a Birmingham based writer and professor from Binghamton University in Upstate New York. He takes us on a walk amongst the silence of New Street’s squares and parks, finding birds and greenery in unexpected places and moments of peace in the quietness of our third lockdown.
February, Abda Khan
A year after the last full month of ‘normality’ for us all in February 2020, novelist and lawyer Abda Khan reflects on how a year of Covid-19 restrictions has impacted her and how much our lives have changed in hundreds of ways, from the major to the insignificant, since then.
March, Michael Amherst
This month, author Michael Amherst writes movingly about the death of his mother and losing her to cancer during a pandemic year. In a year when illness and death has been so much on all our minds, and spoken of daily all around us, Michael's thoughts on his very personal experience of caring for his mother reflect the heartbreak felt by families all over the region, and beyond, as we grieve with those who have lost loved ones in this past year. The piece is read by Ceri Morgan.
April, Sue Brown
In April 2021, US police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. In this month’s piece performance poet Sue Brown reflects on the ways that institutionalised racism has come to the fore of public consciousness across the past year.
May, Maisie Chan
Next month debut author Maisie Chan’s first novel, Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths, is published. In this month’s piece she writes about feeling adrift from friends and family in the Midlands, the difficulties of writing your second novel and the lack of representation of British Chinese protagonists in children’s fiction.
June, Roy Mcfarlane
In this episode, poet Roy Mcfarlane reflects on the month of June as both a time of rest and reflection, thinking about the summer solstice and sunny days alongside the ongoing issue of racism in football and the Windrush scandal as we marked Windrush Day on the 22nd June. The piece is read by Shantel Edwards.