ALAN Moore is set to headline Northampton’s first Lesbian & Gay Literary Festival, alongside over 20 other authors.
But although BooQfest, which is a collaboration between FAN and Northampton Gay Book Group, will celebrate gay and lesbian authors (local and national) and their writing, organisers don’t want it to be an LGBT only event.
“This is a festival for everyone, right from the start we wanted this to be an inclusive event that attracts everyone,” said Matthew Toresen, one of the organisers, and of Northampton LGBT social group FAN, about the festival that starts today and will run until Sunday.
“At FAN we were always keen to organise a literary festival, but we then discovered there was a Northampton Gay Book Group. We mentioned it to them and they were very enthusiastic about it so it became a joint project. At first we were worried we wouldn’t get enough authors, but we started writing off to them and everyone was really enthusiastic. We have over 21 and have actually had to turn writers away.”
The line-up includes authors such as Paul Magrs (Doctor Who), Joseph Lidster (The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood), Mark Michalowski (Shout!, The Tree of Life), and poet Fay Roberts amongst others.
Arguably the biggest name is Northampton’s graphic novelist Alan Moore.
“Getting Alan Moore was great. Alan was instrumental in forming AARGH! (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia!) back in the late 1980s as a response to Section 28, the anti-gay legislation bought in by Thatcher’s Government,” said Matthew. “Alan will be talking about his involvement in this campaign as well as reading from his work The Mirror of Love and answering questions.
“It was advertised for LGBT authors but not all the authors are, but they have perhaps worked with the LGBT community or written with a perspective on it.
“But whether the authors are heterosexual or gay, they will be talking about their art works, their experiences and life really.”
The festival launches today at 7pm in the Carnegie Room at the Central Library. Writers Will Davis and Jeremy Seabrook will be the guest speakers.
It will include readings, discussions, signings and panels, including a Sci-Fi themed event on the Saturday. It will be in several venues including the Central Library, Royal & Derngate and Waterstone’s bookshop. All the events are free. For further information, visit: http://booQfest.webs.com