Authors at a glance

In 2017, we attracted a fabulous array of authors and speakers to the Penzance Literary Festival. Click on ‘read more’ for a profile and featured books.

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Alan M Kent

Dr Alan M. Kent was born in St Austell and lectures in Literature for the Open University and is Visiting Fellow in Celtic Studies at the University of La Coruna. His latest works include the stage adaptation of The Mousehole Cat and The Festivals of Cornwall: Ritual, Revival, Reinvention. He has published extensively on the literature of Cornwall and is […]

Alex Wade

Alex Wade was born in west London, grew up in Devon and, after working as a lawyer in London, began a westward drift that led to living west Cornwall since 2007. Now based in Penzance, Alex has written non-fiction books on surfing and boxing, has been short-listed as sports feature writer of the year and […]

Alexandra Aerlinn

Alexandra Aerlinn is based in Cornwall and has been performing for nine years. Her songs are primarily inspired by the lands and waters of the places she feels a spiritual connection with, sense of place and heritage. They are based upon contemplative immersion in nature, sacred spaces and dream excursions.

Andrew Fentham

Andrew Fentham is poet-in-residence at the Charles Causley Trust in 2017, Causley’s Centenary year. With Pen, a pamphlet of poems on WS Graham and the St Ives School will appear from The New Fire Tree Press as part of the programme of events for Graham’s Centenary year in 2018. Project, a creative response to the […]

Anna Cathenka

Anna Cathenka is a Cornwall-based poet interested in conceptual and experimental poetry. Her first pamphlet, Dead Man Walking, which uses the body of David Bowie to explore grief, celebrity and the death of analogue culture, will be published by New Fire Tree Press in the autumn. She also produces podcasts, runs workshops and writes/performs as […]

Caroline Carver

Caroline Carver’s a National poetry prize winner, a Commended, and has won a number of other awards.  She’s a Hawthornden Fellow, and has lived in many countries including Jamaica and Canada.  She now lives by the sea near Falmouth, and is active in South West Cornwall poetry activities.  However she did spend some time across […]

Cassandra Parkin

Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, lives in East Yorkshire and is inspired by Cornwall.  Her writing has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies and her collection of short stories, New World Fair Tales (2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories.  She is most well-known for her novels, The Summer We All […]

Charlotte Hobson

Charlotte Hobson’s first book, Black Earth City, is based on the year that she spent in a provincial town in Russia, studying Russian as the Soviet Union collapsed. Afterwards she returned to Edinburgh University and graduated with a first in Russian. With no very clear career plans, she took a bus back to Russia and […]

Chris Vick

I live near Bath with my wife, daughter and surf-rat-of-a-dog Toffee. I have worked in marine conservation for years. Though I live inland, work, writing and surfing take me to the sea pretty often. When I’m not working, writing or surfing I’m playing footy, reading, cooking, watching Game of Thrones, or listening to the Chemical […]

Cynan Jones

Cynan Jones was born in 1975 near Aberaeron, Wales where he now lives and works. He is the author of four short novels, The Long Dry (Parthian, 2006), Everything I Found on the Beach (Parthian, 2011), Bird, Blood, Snow (Seren, 2012), and most recently The Dig (Granta, 2014). His first novel won a Society of […]

David Devanny

David Devanny is a multi-media artist, writer and researcher. He is currently studying for a PhD in Digital Literatures at Falmouth University where he is a lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has presented papers at a number of international peer-reviewed conferences including E-Poetry Kingston, ELO Bergen and the British and Irish International […]

David Horton

Devon-born David Horton is studying on the Masters Opera Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Scott Johnson., with the support of a scholarship from the RCS Trust. He graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2010. He then spent a year in Australia studying with Dr Rowena Cowley […]

David Tovey

David Tovey, who lives on the Devon/Cornwall border, has just published The Witty Vagabond – A Biography of Crosbie Garstin (1887-1930) – Author – Artist – Adventurer.  He is a leading Cornish art historian, who has written extensively on Cornish art (particularly the art colonies of St Ives, Newlyn and Lamorna) and is Editor of […]

Diana Dixon

Diana Dixon was born in Cornwall, into a family of poets – Daphne du Maurier was a family friend and a writing influence. Whilst at London University Diana joined the Poetry Society, reading and performing there, as well as at the Bush Theatre and the King’s Head, Islington Diana settled in West Penwith in 1996. […]

Ellen Phethean

Ellen Phethean is a founder member of The Poetry Virgins and Diamond Twig Press. Her work includes Wall, a novel in poems (Smokestack Books 2007). Her first poetry collection Breath (2009, Flambard), was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. A second collection is Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman (Red Squirrel […]

Gee Middleton

Gee Middleton is a tender twenty-something living in Cornwall. Interested in how she relates to the world around her, she considers in her work what it means to be human. With an affinity for stars, self-love, and kindness, poetry is her love letter to humanity and her way of exploring her place in the universe.

Horatio Morpurgo

Horatio Morpurgo grew up in Devon and frequently visited west Cornwall as a child. Educated at Cambridge and Edinburgh, as a reporter he later covered oil-spills in Spain, revolutions in Ukraine, road-schemes in Dorset and pretty much everything in between. He has written longer essays on the history of Penguin Books, the Victorian polymath Samuel […]

Jacky Nowakowski

Jacky Nowakowski, presently a Principal Archaeologist with the Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Cornwall Council, has been working as a professional archaeologist in Cornwall for the past 30 years. A prehistorian, with considerable fieldwork experience across the county, the UK and abroad, Jacky was a member of the original West Penwith Survey team responsible for the detailed […]

Jane Corry

Jane Corry is a Sunday Times best-selling author, published by Penguin. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph and writes the Diary of a Modern Granny column for My Weekly magazine. Jane’s experience as writer in residence for a high-security male prison helped to inspire her books. She also writes award-winning short stories. […]

Jane Pugh

Jane grew up land-locked on the border of the Derbyshire moors. She lived in cities and then fled to the sea to gig row and swim. She watched her house become damper and damper and installed central heating. She dented her car by backing over a big stone bolder. The wind scares her. She finances […]

Jean Burnett

Jean Burnett lives in Bristol and has travelled extensively. She has lived in both North and Central America. Success in school essay competitions led to a passion for writing, although she did not achieve publication until quite late-“overnight success after 40 years.” She writes historical fiction and also travel articles. She was asked to edit […]

Jenny Balfour Paul

Jenny Balfour Paul, writer, artist, international lecturer and intrepid traveller, is the author of two books on Indigo, and numerous other writings. She was consultant curator for the Whitworth Art Gallery’s 2007 touring exhibition ‘Indigo, a Blue to Dye For’ and consultant for two documentary films. Jenny is an Honorary Research Fellow at Exeter University; […]

Jenny Kane

Former archaeologist and medieval historian Jenny Kane is the author of a series of romantic novels set in Cornwall (Sennen, St. Just and Truro featuring) as well as several historical novels published under the name Jennifer Ash and two children’s picture books. She has recently produced four audio scripts for the revival of ITV’s 1980’s […]

Jerome Fletcher

Jerome Fletcher is Associate Professor of Performance Writing and the award leader for the MA Performance Writing at Falmouth University. His practice-led research is focused on a three year project into Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity in Practice (ELMCIP). This project brings together seven European universities researching various aspects of e-literature and networked […]

Jerome Knox

Jerome Knox is studying on the Masters Opera Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with his teacher Scott Johnson and coach Paul Plummer. He is grateful to be the inaugural recipient of the Gleneagles Scholarship at the RCS. Jerome is a Masters graduate of the Royal College of Music where he studied with Russell […]

Judy Brickhill

Judy Brickhill is a sailor, mother, erstwhile reviewer of dinghies and small sailing boats for yachting magazines, writer and poet. She and her family have owned Guide Me for 40 years, spending 10 years restoring her in a Cornish creek before sailing back to Cape Town via Brazil and returning by way of Surinam, the […]

Katrina Quinn

Katrina has recently returned to Brighton, where her performance poetry journey began at University 10 years ago. She spent the last three years living and working in Cornwall and then London. Whilst in Penzance (2013-2015) she got involved in the local writing community: performing at Studio Bar, the Benbow, Acorn and as part of Telltales (Falmouth), Cafe […]

Kirstie Newton

Louisa Young

Louisa Young was born in London and educated there and at Cambridge. She has published 12 books in up to 36 languages, and is half (alongside her daughter) of the children’s author Zizou ‘Lionboy’ Corder. Louisa’s first book was a biography of her grandmother Kathleen Scott, sculptor and widow of Scott of the Antarctic. Her […]

Lynne Jones

Lynne Jones is a child psychiatrist, relief worker, anthropologist and writer. She has spent the last twenty-five years establishing and running mental health programmes in areas of conflict or natural disaster including the Balkans, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, post-tsunami Indonesia, post-Earthquake Haiti and most recently with migrants in France and Greece. Jones has a […]

Lynn Knight

Lynn Knight was born in Derbyshire and lives in London. The women of her family, who have passed on many stories along with beaded bags and buttoned gauntlets, fostered her interest in the texture and narratives of women’s lives. She is also the author of the biography Clarice Cliff (2005), and a memoir, Lemon Sherbet […]

Mac Dunlop

In 2007 Mac founded “The Poetry Point” –  a website portal and bespoke publisher that promotes poetry and spoken word events and information in Cornwall and the SW. Mac curates The Spoken Word Marquee during the monthly Parklive Festivals in Falmouth and hosted on The Roseland for eight years. He also produces podcasts, radio […]

MCMC Spoken

Poetry, rap and spoken word artist, MCMC Spoken uses her diverse skills to communicate views and visions of the world both as she sees it and through the eyes of others.  Her line up this year is the best yet including Glastonbury and Port Eliot! “Catch her if you can.” Looking for a local publisher, if […]

Megan Chapman

Since leaving University, Megan Chapman has gone from strength to strength, carving out her reputation as a poet, working with local producers and rappers to make hip hop tracks, hone here freestyling skills and perform at spoken word gigs both locally and across the UK and Europe. Her love of poetry has led her to […]

Megan Lee Yendell

“While just finishing English and Journalism, I rediscovered poetic hedonism. Life is filled with complexity but words helps us make sense of the punctuated perplexity.”

Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown is professor emerita of Medieval manuscript studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, visiting professor at University College London and Baylor University and senior researcher, University of Oslo, She was formerly Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, British Library. She has taught, broadcast and published widely (over 30 books) and curated exhibitions […]

Nick Holland

Nick Holland is a best selling fiction writer, and now author of a critically acclaimed biography of Anne Brontë. Nick is a professional copywriter from Yorkshire, and fell in love with the Brontës after Wuthering Heights was the first book he read at University. He is a member of the Brontë Society, and runs the […]

Nicholas Pegg

Nicholas Pegg is a British actor, theatre director and writer. Author of ‘The Complete David Bowie‘. Probably the only Equity member to have played Hamlet, a Dalek and an otter.

Peter Fluck

Born in 1941 in Cambridge, Peter Fluck is well known for his founding role in the legendary Spitting Image satirical puppet television comedy show. One of the world’s most successful programmes, it was broadcast between 1984 and 1996. Now working full time as an artist, he lives in a remote part of Cornwall with his painter wife Anne […]

Rob Barratt

Rob Barratt is a Dudley-born comic poet, humourist and singer from North Cornwall. “This is not only clever but I think it’s very funny” (Mike Harding) “His head is well and truly located in ‘Planet Barratt,’ clearly a place of wonderfully bizarre inspiration. “(Coventry Telegraph) “Mind-bending poetry” (Twickfolk, London) “One of the funniest performers yet. His […]

Roy Phillips

N. R. (Roy) Philips was born of an old St Ives family in 1930 and has been writing since boyhood. Taking a lifelong interest in the natural world, especially the wildlife of Cornwall, Roy has led an overland party of Oxford University expedition to study birds of Afghanistan and Kashmir. In 1979, he spent three months alone in […]

Ryan Danes

Author of The Man Who Thought Outside of the Box Ryan appeared on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking on Thursday June 29, follow the iPlayer link to listen again: Signed copies of Ryan’s book The Man Who Thought Outside The Box: The Life and Times of Dr Who Creator Sydney Newman will be available at […]

Sally Crabtree

Sally Crabtree is an author and creative literacy expert as well as an international performance poet/artist who has been described as “Profoundly original – one of Britain’s richest inventions.” She has been invited to prestigious International poetry festivals and performed at diverse venues and events including the UN’s Palais des Nations, the opening ceremony of […]

Stella Duffy

Stella Duffy has written fifteen novels including her latest, The Hidden Room, which Virago will publish in the UK in July 2017. She has written and devised fourteen plays and over sixty short stories, including several for BBC Radio 4. Her collected stories are published by Salt in Everything is Moving, Everything is Joined. She […]

Susan J Blackmore

Sue Blackmore is a psychologist, lecturer and writer researching consciousness, memes, and anomalous experiences, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. She is a TED lecturer, blogs for the Guardian, and often appears on radio and  television. The Meme Machine  (1999) has been translated into 16 other languages; more recent books include Conversations […]

Terry Stiastny

Terry Stiastny is an author and journalist. Her first career was at the BBC, where she reported from around Europe for BBC News, including stints in both Brussels and Berlin, worked for The World At One and PM on BBC Radio 4 and was a political correspondent in Westminster. She left the BBC in 2012 […]

Tim Pears

Tim Pears is the author of ten novels, including In the Place of Fallen Leaves (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), In a Land of Plenty(made into a ten part BBC series), Landed(shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012 and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2011, winner of […]

Timothy Dean

Timothy Dean, whose family hails from West Cornwall, studied music at Reading University, and then piano and conducting at the Royal College of Music. He has been Chorus Master and Head of Music for Kent Opera, the first Music Director of British Youth Opera, conductor of the London Bach Society, Music Director of The Opera […]