Kendal Mountain Book Festival 2023

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. Photo by Paul Wolfgang Webster.

Kendal Mountain Book Festival at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal and Sedbergh 16 — 19 November 2023 Tickets from £6.50 — Book now

Kendal Mountain Book Festival runs alongside the multi award-winning Kendal Mountain Festival each November.

Kendal Mountain Book Festival promises four days of inspiration, discussion and creativity taking place in venues around Kendal, including Brewery Arts Centre (also the base of the Brewery Poets and Verbalise; see our Guide to Literary Places in Cumbria for more). Brimming with events that explore our natural world through words, music and poetry, the festival will bring together avid explorers and adventure seekers with loves of nature writing to share their experiences and celebrate the best in mountain literature. Appropriate, as Kendal was the home of Alfred Wainwright, the British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator known for his seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.

Prepare to be captivated by the presence of acclaimed Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, enchanting musician Jenny Sturgeon, and celebrated writers Robert Macfarlane and Tristan Gooley. Joining them is the engaging BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, with tales of fearless female adventurers. Additionally, be inspired by the remarkable cyclists Mark Beaumont, Jenny Graham and Lee Craigie alongside renowned climbers Leo Houlding and Sasha Diguilian. Together, these exceptional individuals promise to deliver a festival experience like no other, celebrating the spirit of adventure and creativity that defines the Kendal Mountain Festival.

On our radar is Elizabeth-Jane Burnett reading from Twelve Words for Moss, making her way through wetlands from Somerset to County Tyrone and looking closely at the living carpet beneath her feet. “Glowflake, Rocket, Small Skies, Kind Spears, Marilyn” are just some of her favourite species of moss rediscovered and renamed as she recovers from her grief at her father’s death and draws inspiration from the resilience and tenacity of her plant – and human – friends.

We’re also looking forward to hearing about the strange and mesmerising nature of A Flat Place from Noreen Masud, whose earliest memory is of a wide, flat field glimpsed from the back seat of her father’s car in Lahore, Pakistan. As an adult, she has taken a pilgrimage around Britain’s flatlands – Orford Ness, the Cambridgeshire Fens, Morecambe Bay, Orkney – seeking solace and belonging, she weaves her impressions of the natural world with recollections of her own early life, to explore the depths of the histories hidden there.

Kendal Mountain Book Festival encourages you to explore the landscapes around us through music, prose and poetry, tracing the connections between nature and sound – prepare to be transported on a journey through mountain passes, meandering rivers, uncharted territories and more…

A Flat Place by Noreen Masud
A Flat Place by Noreen Masud

Kendal Mountain Book Festival at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal and Sedbergh 16 — 19 November 2023 Tickets from £6.50 Book now

Where to go near Kendal Mountain Book Festival 2023

Comida
Kendal and Sedbergh
Restaurant
Comida

Spanish inspired restaurant serves up Iberian classic dishes such as Spanish Omelette and Chorizo, plus many intriguing wines.

Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, Cumbria. Art gallery, artist studios and exhibition space
Kendal and Sedbergh
Gallery
Cross Lane Projects

Founded by artists Rebecca Scott and Mark Woods, Cross Lane Projects brings new contemporary art to Cumbria and is situated in a former Kendal Mint Cake factory in central Kendal.

Fell Bar Brewery
Kendal and Sedbergh
Bar or Pub
Fell Bar Brewery

Fell Bar is an outlet for the Fell Brewery and a great independent venue in itself, with a broad range of connoisseur-level craft beers.

Cumbria
Gallery
Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Built in 1759 as a private home, today the Gade I listed Abbot Hall Art Gallery is one of the best centres for visual art in Cumbria.

The Joshua Tree
Kendal and Sedbergh
Restaurant
The Joshua Tree

The Joshua Tree is a family-run, homely bistro and restaurant housed in a sixteenth century building, specialising in coffee and exquisite fish and meat dishes.

What's on: Literature

Luke Kennard
LiteratureManchester
Luke Kennard at Manchester Poetry Library

We’re looking forward to hearing from Birmingham-based poet, critic and fiction writer Luke Kennard, the third guest to appear in Manchester Poetry Library’s events programme.

free entry
Ciarán Hodgers. Photo by Wesley Storey
LiteratureManchester
Word Central at Central Library

Word Central is a long-standing live literature favourite at Central Library and features open mic performers and a special guest, brought to you by Manchester Libraries and Flapjack Press.

free entry

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