Dubbed “a rock festival for words,” the Leeds Big Bookend 2014 festival, running June 7th and 8th this year, for the third year running, will be headlining with “An Audience with Alan Bennett” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, in a chance to meet and hear probably Leeds’s most famous literary son. Other events in the program range from Multi-Sensory Storytelling to the Index on Censorship Magazine Big Debate on Censorship and Propaganda in Wartime.
Already featured in TeleRead, the The Big Bookend “is a non profit making company limited by guarantee with charitable objectives. Any extra money generated from the Big Bookend is put straight back into the fund and used for the next Big Bookend festival.” Last year’s festival saw around 600 people attend events all around Leeds and the vicinity, backed by another major Leeds literary figure, poet Tony Harrison.
In case it’s not totally obvious already from all of this, Yorkshire boasts a long and proud literary and cultural heritage, with the Brontës only the most celebrated exemplars. From the days when York was the capital of northern England on down, the historic county has long been a rival to southern regions in cultural and intellectual life as well as other aspects, and the Big Bookend represents that continuing tradition.