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St Clementin Bi-lingual Festival

Posted by Sarah, 25th May 2012

Now, here's an excuse to go to France and savour some fantastic literary talks and workshops.

It's the first year for this wonderful sounding Bi-Lingual Festival, held in a village near Poitiers - St. Clémentin, over three days - August 31 - September 2, 2012.

There's considerable interest from both sides of the Channel but as you may imagine, it is a labour of love and idealism from the enthusiastic British couple, poets Jocelyn and Gordon Simms, organising it. Gordon Simms was the 2011 Biscuit Poetry Challenge winner and he and his wife have been running the Segora Poetry and Fiction awards, among other literary events, for some years.

Headlining the Festival is the novelist, short story writer and poet, Helen Dunmore, who has several events lined up.

Arc's Katherine Gallagher is chairing a poetry forum with English-speaking poets from the Festival, in which they're invited to demonstrate connections that may be made between aspects of their own work and that of other poets. Later in the programme, she is presenting her latest Arc collection, her new & selected, Carnival Edge.

A longtime francophile, she is also running a 2-hour translation workshop based on her translation of Jean-Jacques Celly's Prix Pierre Basuyau winner Le Somnambule aux Yeux d'Argile - The Sleepwalker with Eyes of Clay (Forest Books, parallel-text. 1994).

Other highlights:

A selection of short films including John Hudson's Toutes Directions and Dead Plastic Crow by Aonghas Macneacil
Plenty of art
The festival bookshop's open every day
Linen Press director Lynn Michell talks about running an independent press in today's publishing world. She's also promising to give would-be authors hints on how to catch the eye of a publisher.

Oh, and wine and cheese and bread and sunshine...

Katherine Gallagher
Katherine Gallagher