Ullapool Book Festival tickets go on sale

Alan Spence will talk about his next novel as well as read some of his poetry.
Alan Spence will talk about his next novel as well as read some of his poetry.

Tickets for the 2012 festival, being held from 11th to 13th May in Ullapool Village Hall, go on sale on Friday 23rd March.

There is a stellar line-up with writers such as John Burnside who won both the TS Eliot and the Forward poetry prizes for best collection in 2011 with Black Cat Bone and was shortlisted for the Costa best novel for 2011 with A Summer of Drowning.

Scottish author Louise Welsh will be reading from her latest novel 'Naming The Bones'.

Scottish author Louise Welsh will be reading from her latest novel 'Naming The Bones'.

Another eminent poet appearing is Robin Robertson whose fourth collection of poetry, The Wrecking Light, was published in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Costa, the Eliot and the Forward Prize. He has received a number of accolades, including the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and all three Forward Prizes.

Canadian short story writer Alexander MacLeod will make his first public appearance in the UK when he reads from his award-winning collection Light Lifting at the festival.

Alexander was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. Light Lifting is his first collection of short stories and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Prize, two Atlantic Book Awards, and went on to become a national bestseller in Canada.

He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. He follows in his illustrious father’s footsteps - Alistair MacLeod was a guest at Ullapool Book Festival in 2009.

Acclaimed Scottish author Louise Welsh will be reading from her latest novel Naming The Bones, a literary thriller.

There will be more fiction from Alan Spence who will talk about his next novel, due to be published in 2013, as well as read some of his poetry. Rodge Glass, Karin Altenberg and Sue Peebles complete the list of novelists writing in English.

Màrtainn Mac An T-Saoir (Martin Macintyre) and Tormod Caimbeul (Norman Campbell) will read from their latest Gaelic novels in a session that will be in Gaelic. Non-Gaelic speakers will not miss out as there will be simultaneous translation into English through individual headsets.

Add non-fiction from Ron Ferguson with his memoir of George Mackay Brown, Mairi Hedderwick and Roger Hutchinson talking about their island-based works, and Andy Wightman, leading advocate for land reform in Scotland, and you have a heady mix.

But there is more. Aonghas MacNeacail will be there to talk about and read poems from Leabhar Mor na Gaidhlig (Great Book of Gaelic) exhibition which will be on display at several venues in Ullapool. Aonghas was one of the key contributors to this project which links commissioned artwork with specially selected Gaelic poetry from 6th to 21st centuries.

There will also be a late night Ceilidh for Aonghas to celebrate his seventieth birthday this year. Another late night session has Lewis singer/songwriter Willie Campbell; appearing with him will be fellow Lewisman Kevin MacNeil.

Kevin will also be leading a Moniack Mhor writing workshop on how to write successful dialogue. Places on this are very limited and must be booked in advance.

The Saturday morning storyteller this year is Martin MacIntyre. Then there are early morning readings from Highland writers and poets Rhoda Michael, Alison Napier and Maggie Wallis. And Scottish Opera will be back this year with A Little Bit of Tosca. They will perform a 20 minute version of the opera where the story unfolds to a series of colourful illustrations brought to life by a storyteller, singer and two musicians.

Ullapool Book Festival chair Joan Michael said “Not only do we have all these wonderful people coming but the beauty of it all is that you don’t have to choose between one or another. The festival is programmed in such a way that you can start at 9.30 in the morning and go right through the day and not have any clashes.”

All programme information is on the website www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk.