XANTHI BARKER & CHARLIE GILMOUR – on fathers, wayward and wonderful.
In terms of parenting, we all know that mothers are crucial. But what about fathers? They may play a significant part in the procreation bit but what do we expect of them as parents?
The poet Sebastian Barker, who, btw, was the first author to appear at the first event at the first Swindon Festival of Literature in 1994, died when his daughter Xanthi was in her mid-twenties. She could make little sense of the grief she felt for a man who had made her gifts and sent her poems but who had been absent for most of her life.
Prize-winning short story writer, Xanthi Barker is the author of Will This House Last Forever?, a wholly original memoir about seeing the flaws in those we love and how grief so utterly defies logic.
A young magpie falls from its nest and into a writer’s life. His response is to write a story about repetition across generations and birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father; and a desire to build a nest of one’s own. A jackdaw is kept in a stately home by an anarchist poet. The latter is the former’s absent father.
In his highly-praised book Featherhood, author Charlie Gilmour has written a fascinating, moving, and illuminating story about birds and fathers.
The SWINDON FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE takes place 2nd – 8th May. It celebrates things well thought, well written, and well said, both serious and funny!
Seven days of great authors and entertaining speakers, it will include novelists, poets, philosophers, travellers, scientists, storytellers, historians, comedians, artists, and writing workshops There will be events at midday, teatime, and in the evening, carefully spaced and placed to enable you to attend almost every one, should you have the stamina!
Concessions: £1 off