Programmes now available for Guernsey Literary Festival

The first ever Guernsey Literary Festival gets underway on Thursday 12th May.

Programmes are now available from the greenhouse at the Guernsey Information Centre and will soon be at various other locations around the island as well.

Highlights of the festival include:

  • A special talk from Annie Barrows, co-author of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society at St James.
  • Punk poet John Cooper Clarke appearing at the Fermain Tavern alongside Cornish folk band The Crowns and Guernsey rockabilly cow-punks The John Wesley Stone.
  • Award winning children’s author Kevin Crossley-Holland will be reading from his new book Bracelet of Bones at St James.
  • An evening exploring the relationship of poetry and song featuring Royal Academy of Music graduate Olivia Chaney at the Town Church.
  • An evening of Tales of the Sea aboard the Herm Trident with performances from the Guernsey History in Action Company and GU10.

You can buy tickets online at and find out more about all the events at

The organisers are also looking for volunteers to help out across the festival, if you want to get involved you can sign up here.

A full timetable of events is available to download here.

Literary Festival events not to be missed:

Annie Barrows – Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society

Sunday 15th May, 11.30-13.00

St James Concert & Assembly Hall

A chance to listen to the author Annie Barrows, who will lead a talk on the famous novel ” The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” written in conjunction with her Aunt, Mary Ann Shaffer. This is the novel that has really put Guernsey on the world map (and is the subject of the exhibition at the moment at the greenhouse).

This will be followed by Marguerite’s Story:  It’s 1946 and Marguerite is recalling what she remembers of the Literary and Potato Peel Society. She wasn’t a member of the exclusive club but heard all the news from her aunt Amelia. Hear this well-known story from a different perspective as Marguerite recounts her memories with a healthy dose of Guernsey humour.  Storytelling comes naturally to Guernsey-born Margaret, who is an active member of the Guernsey History in Action Company.

There will be a book signing session after for those interested.

Tickets: £8 adults, £4 OAPs/Students

John Cooper ClarkeJohn Cooper Clarke – Punk Poetry & Folk Night

Saturday 14th May, 19:30-late

Fermain Tavern

The Sark Folk Festival and The Guernsey Literary Festival have joined forces to bring a unique night of folk, punk and poetry, with local rockabilly band The John Wesley Stone, punk poet John Cooper Clarke and Cornish folk/punk band Crowns.

John Cooper Clarke was initially the support act for many seminal punk bands such as the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, The Fall, Joy Division, Elvis Costello and Siouxsie and the Banshees, to name but a few; his biting, satirical, political and very funny verse is delivered in a rapid-fire performance style.

Tickets: £15

Kevin Crossley-Holland – Bracelet of Bones

Sunday 15th May, 15:30-16:30

St James Concert & Assembly Hall

Kevin Crossley-Holland has won many awards for his fiction, including the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. His books have been translated into over 25 languages, including best known work Arthur Trilogy which has sold well over one million copies worldwide.

His new books this year are, Bracelet of Bones, Short Too! and his new and selected poems The Mountains of Norfolk.

Kevin Crossley-Holland will be reading from his new book Bracelet of Bones, a glittering novel that explores friendship and betrayal, the father-daughter relationship, the clash of religions, and the journey from childhood to adulthood.

Expect to be enthralled!

Tickets: £8 adults, £4 OAPs/Students

Olivia Chaney – the Poem and the Song

Saturday 14th May, 19:30-21:30

Town Church

Taking place in the atmospheric surroundings of the ‘Town Church’, this very special event celebrates the spoken word and that of the lyricist. Come along and be enchanted!

Olivia Chaney trained as a classical pianist, singer and composer. Graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, her passion for song-writing and traditional music led her to both guitar and harmonium. Combining her many talents, she has cultivated a sound that is truly her own and is attracting attention worldwide.

Interwoven with Olivia’s music, we celebrate the poetry of a number of our ‘Bus Poets’: writers from across the UK whose poems have been selected for display on the island bus fleet. Many of our poets are celebrated prize-winners at a national level and have been widely published.

This very special combination of poetry and song, performed in a beautiful setting, will make this event a night to remember!

Tickets: £10 adults, £5 OAPs/Students

Tales of the Sea

Sunday 15th May, 18:00-20:00

Herm Trident Ferry, Weighbridge, St Peter Port Harbour

Ahoy there!

Experience some of Guernsey’s seafaring history with an evening onboard the Herm ferry, moored at the Weighbridge, St Peter Port harbour.

There will be storytelling by Guernsey History in Action Company and sea shanties performed by GU10, all washed down with locally brewed cider and ale and delicious local seafood.

Gangplank opens 5.45pm with a special local character to welcome you onboard!

Tickets: £12 adults, £8 OAPs/Students (inclusive of drink & seafood/veggie option)

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