The Reader launches new literature festival 'for the Covid era'


Maxine Peake and Jimmy McGovern are among the names taking part in a new Liverpool literature festival next month.

Gravity, which runs in person and online from November 5-7, is the brainchild of Calderstones-based national reading charity The Reader.

The programme encompasses a weekend of headline talks, panel discussions, Shared Reading groups and wellbeing workshops – held both remotely and at The Reader at Calderstones Mansion – which organisers say will address ‘the inevitable toughness that life in the Covid era throws at us through literature, laughter, art and beyond.’

Dr Jane Davis, founder and director of The Reader, says: “Lots of studies have shown that what makes people happy, above all, is a supportive network and a sense of purpose. Gravity Festival aims to provide both.

“Gravity creates a place where we can open up the serious conversations we humans need, but don’t always know how to start.

“Stories, poems and complex dramas, like Jimmy McGovern’s Time, give us a rich language with which to talk about and understand our lives. And if you’d rather quietly do yoga or make a piece of origami or go for a poetry walk with someone you don’t have to talk to, they are available too.”

The festival programme includes actor Maxine Peake reading from Hamlet (a role she played at the Royal Exchange in 2014) and Happy Days as part of an ‘in conversation’ with Dr Davis; Jimmy McGovern in conversation with Erwin James; (M)otherhood author Dr Pragya Agarwal, and GP and author Dr Gavin Francis reading from his book Intensive Care.

Gravity is at The Reader and online from November 5-7. Full programme and tickets HERE