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Chagword, Dartmoor’s Literary Festival


We’ve just spent the weekend at Chagword, Dartmoor’s Literary Festival in the beautiful market town of Chagford with a diverse and entertaining programme packed with much-loved writers and performers.

Chagword actually began a little earlier this month with the first Children’s Bookfest on March 9th. Events with entertaining children’s author Sarah McIntyre, her co-conspirator and CCB patron Philip Reeve followed by wildlife presenter Nick Baker during the day, and the Pocketwatch Theatre Company performing Wind In The Willows in the evening. The Children’s Bookfest was a great success, with brilliant authors and a fabulous audience!

This weekend, the incredible Jo Brand was the opening gig on Friday night, excoriating the world’s evils with her typical dry wit and insight.

On Saturday we were treated to events about historical discovery with Sam Willis and James Daybell; Prue Leith shared stories about cookery, novels and running the Leith business; an illustrated retrospective of the work of James Ravilious by Robin Ravilious; and Salley Vickers allowed us an insight into what influences her writing. The evening wrapped up with Michael Morpurgo reading In The Mouth of the Wolf, a profound and moving story told by a master storyteller.

Sunday brought ‘Blowers’ and Ian Robertson discussing streakers on the pitch (and much more besides); Nell Leyshon’s inspiring performance about how to write; poetry ranging from dogs to tripping on pain relief medicine from Christopher Reid and Tiffany Atkinson, and a fascinating discussion with Andrew Miller. The weekend closed with Timothy Bentinck being David Archer live on stage.

Chagword 2019 was a weekend of poetry and prose, reminiscence and insight, storytelling and laughter.
It’s the friendliest festival and we’re already looking forward to the next time!