Literature Festival at Dartington 9-19 July

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This summer, in the stunning setting of Dartington Hall in Devon, a colourful cast of poets, novelists, journalists, politicians, scientists, actors, comedians and artists will get together for the 8th Ways With Words Literature Festival.

From 10am to 10pm for 10 days, there will be a full programme of events in the medieval Great Hall. In between, those who read books can mingle with those who write them in the on-site bar, the courtyard and the beautiful gardens. The Independent on Sunday is delighted to be supporting the Festival again. The Editor, Kim Fletcher, introduces the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP. Travel Editor Jeremy Atiyah will host a day celebrating travel writers, including William Dalrymple talking about India. Writer Cole Moreton will introduce Clare Short MP, talking about her hopes for the millennium. Ruth Padel will chair a live edition of the extremely popular Sunday Poem, with poets Jo Shapcott and Michael Donaghy. There will be a debate on the hot topic of GM foods, with scientists and activists both for and against - come and learn more about the issues and make your views heard.

Since the last Festival, two major writers have died, and their lives will be celebrated in two special events. The Festival opens with a memorial lecture for Ted Hughes by friend and fellow poet Tom Paulin, while John Bayley talks about life with Iris Murdoch.

The new Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, will be reading his work. Other poets include Michael Hofmann, Ian Hamilton, Brian Patten, Sophie Hannah and Tobias Hill.

Among the novelists are Joanna Trollope, Barbara Trapido, Jane Gardam, Bernice Rubens, A A Gill, Ronan Bennett, Philip Hensher, Deborah Moggach, Marika Cobbold, Raffaella Barker, Penelope Lively and Beryl Bainbridge.

For those who prefer fact to fiction, there are theme days on science, history, art, psychology, philosophy and religion: A N Wilson discussing Jesus with Richard Ingrams; Barry Norman's films of the century; Steven Rose on brains and behaviour; Lewis Wolpert on depression; Ben Rogers talking about A J Ayer; actress Harriet Walter on her lives off and on stage; and an appearance by Jeremy Hardy, comedian and human rights activist. Places are limited so book now.

Special Reader Offer

We have a limited number of places available at a special rate for IoS readers:

a reduction of pounds 100 on full festival packages, and pounds 25 on shorter 3- and 4-night packages (see price details, right). The full package offer includes 10 nights' full-board accommodation at Dartington Hall, together with a Rover ticket which gives admission to all events except workshops.


Please make cheques payable to Ways With Words. Prices quoted are the special reader offer rates.

Send the completed form to: Ways With Words, Festival Box Office, Droridge Farm, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6JQ

If you would like more information before booking, or to pay by credit card (Visa/Mastercard), please telephone 01803 867373