Book in for a weekend of literary delights in Leeds

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Book lovers in Leeds were today looking forward to the start of an event that promises to be a real page-turner.

Running tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, the Leeds Big Bookend has been described as the written word’s equivalent of a rock festival.

Talks, discussions, readings and workshops for all ages are being held in venues including Leeds Central Library, Leeds Church Institute, Waterstones, The Leeds Library and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Likely highlights of the packed programme put together by the festival’s dedicated team of volunteers include:

* John Lake reading from his Leeds 6 crime trilogy and taking questions from the audience at Leeds Central Library at 12.30pm tomorrow;

* Max Farrar speaking about his history of Chapeltown book The Struggle for ‘Community’ at Leeds Central Library at 2.30pm tomorrow;

* Anthony Clavane, Nick Quantrill and Roger Domeneghetti discussing how Yorkshire’s sporting identity is reflected in the arts at West Yorkshire Playhouse at midday on Sunday;

* The sold-out Audience with Alan Bennett date at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Sunday afternoon.

Another eagerly-awaited event being staged at Leeds Central Library at 2pm tomorrow will see renowned author Richard van Emden, pictured above, and historian Andrea Hetherington talking about the way the First World War changed the lives of those left behind at home.

It will be followed by a debate on the modern relevance of the conflict.

Festival co-ordinator Fiona Gell said: “We’re aiming to celebrate Leeds’s rich literary heritage and to foster our new and developing talent.”

She went on: “We’ve been careful not to call ourselves a literature festival because that could have a tag of exclusivity.

“We are a city festival and we want to include everybody. It’s the love and passion for books and words that drives us.”

Taking place for the third time, the Leeds Big Bookend has won funding from sources such as the Arts Council, the British Future think-tank and Waitrose Meanwood Community Foundation.

Partners include Leeds Library and Information Service, Waterstones Leeds and Red Ladder Theatre Company.

For full programme information, visit the website.

Stephen Ewen, 62, of Cookridge, who died of sepsis in 2017.

Devastated Leeds family share sepsis warning after much-loved dad ‘killed in hours’