So at the weekend this library staff member went back to Wales! Apparently Wales is just the place for a book lover to be.
I decided to volunteer on the Friday and Saturday and check out the second ever Cardiff Book Festival. It turned out to be a great success and I bet Cerith, Dan, Brian and Jeff (the organisers) were really proud of themselves for pulling off such a fantastic event.
On the Friday I arrived there was a ‘Pitch in the Pub’ with literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes (@taffyagent on Twitter) and people were incredibly eager to get her opinion on their ideas, sat in the basement pub of the Angel Hotel cosying up to Cathryn and Dan Tyte in conversation.
A ‘New Poetic Voices showcase’ gave a platform to some of Wales’ new poets on the scene, this event filled up and many of the attendees stayed well after it was over to chat with the poets. Rhiannon Hooson, Rhian Edwards, Emily Blewitt, Sophie McKeand, Susie Wild, Natalie Ann Holborow and Rhys Milsom were all very well received.
Catherine Mayer ‘Attack of the 50 Ft. Women: How Gender Equality Can Save The World’! grabbed the attention of the festival goers with a huge cardboard cut-out of her book cover in the lobby and she filled the Dragon Suite of the Angel Hotel with her talk about equality and there were many copies sold and signed in the Waterstones pop-up shop after.
Dylan Jones on David Bowie was another incredibly popular event, his new book ‘David Bowie- A Life’ is unlike any Bowie story ever written and he enthralled his audience completely.
Friday night was brought to an end with a ‘Lit Festival’ with DJs playing tunes inspired by literature. The tagline being: “Remember what they say: Dance drunk. Edit sober.” By this point I was in my hotel room enjoying the bed because I’m basically not cut out for disco’s after 9pm.
Saturday saw me based outside for most of the day, handing out Book Fest leaflets in view of the gorgeous Cardiff Castle, so I missed out on seeing the events; such as ‘Gaslight with Eloise Williams’ and ‘Remembering Rhodri Morgan’ which I was told were great, particularly Eloise Williams which was aimed at a younger audience than most of the events that weekend.
Green Man Festival took over Cardiff Central Library with ‘The Library of Imagined Genes’ produced by Einstein’s Gardens, another amazing festival worth checking out if you love Wales.
I stood outside Waterstones handing out flyers to an incredibly enthusiastic set of book lovers before heading off to my Sunday adventure in Essex so missed out on loads of other awesome events that ran on the rest of the weekend like ‘Robert Harris in conversation with Marcel Theroux’ and ‘35 years of Fighting Fantasy with Ian Livingstone’. If you want to check out what else went on check out #cardiffbookfest on Twitter or their website and keep an eye out for tickets for next year!