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YLF Online 2020

17th October 2020 @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

| Free

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We are excited to announce that we will be returning in October with a day of online events!

There is no denying that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. So it is with great pleasure that we are bringing you a day of online events on Saturday 17th October, in association with MyVLF and Arts Council England.

Every event on the day will be FREE. All you need to do is to register with MyVLF before the events (also free) and then visit the website in time on the day. The great thing is that after you have joined the MyVLF community you can engage with the other literary events on their website as well. If you can not join us on the day, the events will still be on the MyVLF website for you to enjoy!

Details of the events can be found below.

Booksales will be available from Fox Lane Books.  MyVLF is the world’s only virtual book festival venue.




11.00-12.00: ON LOVE – Join poets Seni Seneviratne and Afshan D’souza-Lodhi as they read from their collections, Unknown Soldier and re: desire. In Unknown Soldier (Peepal Tree Press), Seni explores the photos taken of her father during the desert war of 1939-1945, writing about both the subject of the photos and the photographer. In re: desire (Burning Eye Books), Afshan explores the yearning to love, be loved and belong from a desi (South Asian) perspective. This event is moderated by Professor Gweno Williams of the University of York.

In association with Peepal Tree Press


12.00-13.00: YOUNG, BLACK AND BRITISH – In this special event presented by Dialogue Books, two young men who have grown up in the UK exchange their views and understanding of what it’s like to be both black and British in the modern day and age. Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye has encountered endless labels – all of which have informed his experience. In his latest book, Black, Listed, he unpicks their meanings. Okechukwu Nzelu is also a teacher. His debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, was published in 2019 and has been getting rave reviews. Join them as they read from their work and discuss growing up, identity, race, God and all the big questions they ask not just of themselves but of all of us.The session will be moderated by Rob O’Connor, Chairman of York Literature Festival. Many thanks to Professor Gweno Williams for assistance with this event.

In association with Dialogue Books


14.00-15.00: LOCATING YORK IN LITERATURE – Dr Rob O’Connor (York Centre for Writing, York St John University) is joined by Drs Zoë Enstone and Adam James Smith for a lively round-table discussion of York’s representation in literature from the eighteenth century to the present day. Zoë and Adam will introduce a range of texts, ranging from the eighteenth-century accounts of Daniel Defoe and James Montgomery to contemporary writing by figures such as Kate Atkinson and Susannah Clarke, before discussing these texts and the questions they raise about York’s historic representation.


16.00-17.00: WOMEN, SEX AND POWER IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY – Most of the women who ever lived left no trace on the record of history and everything we’ve known about ordinary women suggests they were powerless and downtrodden. Professor Suzannah Lipscomb brings us a different story and allows us to hear the voices of sixteenth-century women, telling us the realities of their lives and showing us the ways in which they could be powerful. Professor Lipscomb is a well-known British historian, academic and TV presenter who has written and appeared in a number of television and radio programmes about British history. In January 2019 she was appointed to a personal chair as Professor of History at the University of Roehampton.


17.00-18.00: POETRY READING WITH ANDREW MCMILLAN, SUPPORTED BY JOSHUA JUDSON – Andrew McMillan’s debut collection Physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award, amongst others. His second collection, Playtime, was published to great acclaim in 2018 and was The Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. Andrew will be giving a reading from his work, supported by Joshua Judson, a poet from Nottingham. Joshua is an alumnus of the Mouthy Poets program and is a member of the Barbican Young Poets family. His work has appeared in publications such as The North, Magma, Brittle Star, The White Review, The Rialto, and The Anthropocene among others. His debut pamphlet Gongoozler is forthcoming from Bad Betty Press in 2021.


All of these events will be FREE to attend. All you need to do is register for the MyVLF community in advance. You can do that here. However, please note that there is no need to obtain physical tickets. This will just link you through to the MyVLF website.

We look forward to seeing you – albeit virtually – at these events!

Take care.

Best wishes,
York Literature Festival Board of Trustees.


17th October 2020
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
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