WCR FM at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival

Friday, February 3rd, 2023

9:00am - 7:00pm
Mander Centre Community Hub, Wolverhampton, WV1 3NH

Friday 3rd: WCR presents a day of entertainment

More Information (WCR FM is not responsible for external websites)

Brendan Hawthorne -  9am - 10am
Poet, playwright, singer-songwriter, author and comic compère, Brendan Hawthorne is a born and bred Black Countryman. He is widely published, has held several writing residencies, and has delivered many bespoke commissions throughout his career. He was one of Anthony Gormley’s ‘Fourth Plinthers’ where he performed his work in Trafalgar Square, London, atop the empty the plinth. Brendan was made Wednesbury Poet Laureate in 2014 and held the 'Bill o Bowes' national award for best written dialect two years running. His latest collection of poetry, Seventies Child and Other Fashion Trends,  is available via Dream Well Writing Ltd (a dyslexia friendly publication) or Brendan’s website.

Jane James - 10am - 10.30am
Jane James has performed at many events, slams and festivals. She has had work published in a pamphlet and several anthologies and is horrified when asked for biographical information. “Born in Staffordshire. Lives in Wolverhampton. Bit old. Quite daft.”

Gerard Kells - 10.30am - 11am
Gerald Kells is poet and author. He reads at poetry events around Walsall and the West Midlands but during the pandemic his universe widened out as he brought his eclectic mix of humorous, political and personal poetry to Zoom readings across the country. He has now developed his own YouTube and Soundcloud channels. Recent publications have included 51 Poems, a collection of sonnets and other poetic works, an on-line novel: The Net Mender’s Son, and several short stories. He has won poetry slams, including Café Grande in Dudley, Oooh Beehive in Swindon and the Shrewsbury Literary Festival online, and has headlined events such as Blot from the Blue and Voices in the Fountain. When he’s not writing, Gerard likes to walk, read, and, when he gets the chance, dance. He’s a long-standing campaigner for countryside protection.

Laura Liptrot - 11am - 11.30am 
Laura Presents is an explosion of work inspired by my journey through the minefield of an acting career, nature, human magic, affection, the music and words of Patti Smith, and the political trips that have brought us almost to breaking point, many times - just in this decade alone! Here I invite you into the busy attic of my life and mind (where some days are full of sunshine, others full of grey clouds, though most are lit by a silvery, Tarot card moon) to explore through the boxes full of colour and the tangle of riddles and ribbons. This is an ordinary woman (who turns 30 this year) presenting to you her opinions, her emotions, and just basically herself.

Phil Buckley - 11.30am - 12pm
Phil Buckley was a social worker, trainer, and lecturer for twenty-nine years, who first began writing poetry when he was in the British Army in the 1970’s. He describes his earlier, unpublished poetry as a form of ‘cathartic bibliography’, which helped him through a time in his life which he describes as ‘not without its stresses’. He has since worked with various local authorities and voluntary organisations as a qualified social worker in residential care with challenging children, and later in child protection investigation. Since retiring, Phil has written numerous poems, and has had a number published in various anthologies. Most of these involve the challenges facing communities, due to such things as austerity, Covid and climate change.

LIVE BROADCAST: Jason Forrest with Wolverhampton Today - 12pm – 3pm

Jason Forrest started working in radio as co-host on Beacon Radio’s Kid’s Stuff back in 1987, at the age of 15. He has produced and presented shows on 1575 Radio Wolves, 107.7 The Wolf and BBC WM, as well as driving the Network Chart and sport at BRMB. Jason has hosted events and performed as a DJ at venues across the city, including Miss Moneypenny’s. He has had residences at bars and clubs, including a stint at Heroes back in the 90’s! Jason was also match-day announcer at Molineux for 25 years, stepping down in 2018. He currently presents Wolverhampton Today 12-3pm weekdays. His podcast, The Milk Bar, has been available online as an audio download since 2009 and goes out in various formats, with a video version on Facebook. In the past, Jason has also run features on local TV. Actively involved in promoting the Wolverhampton Literature Festival since its inception, on both radio and his weekly podcast, Jason has fronted several events at Lit Fest, over recent years.

Kates Hill Press Authors - 3pm - 4pm
The Kates Hill Press new authors read their work. Ian Henery, Rob Simmons, Billy Spakemon, Eileen Ward & Joanne Webster.

Susan Vickers - 4pm – 4.30pm
Susan Vickers is a broadcaster, model, entrepreneur and community champion supporting many local festivals, charities and events. She broadcasts daily on international radio to over 985k people. She uses her platform to discuss, and raise awareness of, the issues many of us struggle through daily. This book has been over 30 years in the making. With the cultural revolution over the past few years, Susan has finally been able to feel the world is a safer place to talk about her struggles with identity. Susan uses her experiences to help others by speaking out, highlighting social injustices and supporting various charities and causes.

Cherry Morrison - 4.30pm - 5pm
Cherry Morrison was born and spent her younger days in Handsworth. She loved music and the arts. Cherry decided to rebel against the system to become the first qualified female painter and decorator in 1997. Since surviving a serious assault in 2012, Cherry now refuses to stay quiet and speaks out about Domestic Abuse. She studied at Cambridge, as part of the IPeace restorative justice project. Cherry recently finished working at a Birmingham school to pursue her decorating and music career. She feels that the creative arts aspect of her life provides therapy for her to cope with CPTSD. Cherry has her hands in many pies. She sings, writes songs, poetry and spoken word pieces, co manages a band and is working on some large projects: including writing several books. Cherry believes providing an insight into "what happened behind her closed doors and why she stayed" will help people understand forms of domestic abuse, recognise some red flags, and leave before things really hit the wall.

Wendy Willis - 5pm – 5.30pm
Wednesbury-based children’s author Wendy Willis will be appearing at The Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2023. She will be reading extracts from, and doing personalised signings of, her children’s book: The Porter Family. This is the first collaboration between the author and superbly talented local illustrator Charlotte Smith. The Porter Family is Wendy’s first children’s book – realising a lifetime dream of publishing the story she used to make up for her son at bedtime. Wendy has worked in funeral care all her life and is a union rep for USDAW. She is also a volunteer with a local dementia support group in Wolverhampton and has recently started two new hobbies: archery and pottery.

Voices of Recovery - 5.30pm – 6pm
Voices of Recovery will be a volunteer and service user led project, working alongside Ian Henery and the Service User’s Involvement Team (SUIT), to provide a spoken word installation on Friday 3rd February, during the Wolverhampton Literature Festival. Using a model of creative arts-based mutual aid at the Recovery Hub, Thornhurst, participants will find inspiration from music, lyrics, spoken word, and poetry, to produce creative writing that focuses on their experiences of addiction, and is designed to offer structured support to people faced with the challenge of substance abuse.

The therapeutic properties of creative writing have a significant relationship with health and wellbeing, and when used alongside other pathways to recovery and rehabilitation are shown to regulate internal and emotional states. Service users and volunteers will share their experiences of creative writing as a tool for relapse prevention, mutual support, social-connectedness, and self-confidence. An important aspect of this work will be to leave a legacy of creative inspiration for service users and show how the arts can be a starting point for focus and achievement.

Claire Tedstone - 6pm – 6.30pm
Claire is a creative soul - using her lived experience to tell stories blending the themes of nature, art, psychology, spirituality and mental illness. Her kinetic poetry performances will take you on a journey through a landscape laced with metaphor, where she learns to find beauty in the darkness. Claire is from Saturday Books & Gallery.

Shaun Hand - 6.30pm – 7pm
Shaun Hand is an author and musician from Birmingham who dislikes writing his own biographies. He is best known in Wolverhampton for working in various local pubs. His debut novel, The Sadness of The King George (Bad Press Ink, 2021) is a grim, sweary comedy set in a fading Sutton Coldfield pub. His other books are Pop Art Poems: The Music of The Jam (self-published, 2016), which has sold well over 1,000 copies, and a poetry collection entitled The New Brutalism (Kate’s Hill Press, 2021), which hasn’t. He makes woozy psychedelic music (no, really) under the name Birmingham Music Library and has genuinely nearly finished his second novel.

Date: Friday 3 February

Venue: Mander Centre Community Hub

Age range: Adults

Price: Free


Mander Centre Community Hub
Lower Mall Mander Centre

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The event runs from 9:00am to 7:00pm on the following dates.
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