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The Ways With Words Festival of Words and Ideas at Dartington Hall launches on Friday 5th July. From July 5th to 15th, a host of Devon writers and personalities will be appearing alongside stars of literature, politics and media.
Festival director Kay Dunbar said, “Devon’s wealth of literary talent is something to be proud of”.
Indeed, with such a beautiful and often dramatic landscape, Devon seems to naturally foster prominent voices in the new generation of nature writing. Miriam Darlington is one of these. In her book, Otter Country, Darlington journeys through Britain in search of the elusive wild otter. Of all her experiences, those that take place in Devon inevitably resonate with personal revelation. She discovers some of the most hidden and unpredictable parts of Dartmoor on her own doorstep.
Sophie Pierce is another writer dedicated to exploring areas of Devon that remain hidden from most people. Having founded the Devon Wild Swimming Group and published a book of South West swimming spots with Matt Newbury, Pierce is an expert in encounters with the wild. Her experiences inspire a collection of new swimming explorers wherever she goes.
Not only does Devon’s rural landscape harbour beautiful and dangerous secrets, its towns reveal secret stories too. Anglican Priest from Plymouth, David Nixon, researches social exclusion and inclusion throughout the South West. Nixon offers insight into the lives of homeless people that are often overlooked and he reveals the secret stories of the street.
The festival will also celebrate the creative side of Devon with writer, humorous poet and performer Matt Harvey: a self-described enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting. Dartmoor poets Simon Williams and Susan Taylor will appear at a selection of events. With the publisher, Philip Kahn, Simon Williams launches the publication of his poems, ‘He She’ by itinerant press while Susan Taylor’s poems enhance an Innuit tale: The Story of the Skeleton Woman.
There are many more local faces appearing as part of the eclectic programme of speakers. The impressive array of local writers keeps the 22nd year of this ever-growing festival linked to its Devon roots.
There is still plenty of time to book tickets to hear Devon’s home-grown writers as well as other speakers such as Jack Straw, A.C. Grayling, Ann Widdecombe and Carol Ann Duffy.
Most tickets are £9. Tickets are available to book online at www.wayswithwords.co.uk or by phone on 01803 867 373.