New festival explores Bridport’s literary fringes

Bridport has a new festival this November exploring words, both written and spoken. Bridport Literary Fringe, or “BridLit Fringe”, takes place between 12th and 16th.
BridLit Fringe aims to complement the main Festival and is the brainchild of a small group of like-minded individuals, headed by Ged Duncan and Roy Gregory, who thought there might be space for literary events that didn’t fit within the traditional festival norms. ‬‬
The duo soon drew together a team that have organised events ranging art punk innovator Kirsty Allison to Buddhist meditative poetry and music from Emily Maguire.
Ged Duncan said: “While it is true some of the themes to be featured at the Fringe are represented in traditional literary festivals such as a Crime Fiction event with Jason Webster and Tarquin Hall, some of locations and events are less common on the festival circuit such as an event in an indoor climbing centre on the literature of extreme sports.”
Other unusual events on offer include a talk on Dorset Smuggling in Bridport Museum, Mick Ford’s fascinating book of photographs of London snooker halls in the 1960’s in Bridport Library and 2000 AD comic artist Dave Kendall talking graphic novels at Clocktower Music.
The festival aims to reach out to all sections of the local community, and Colfox School will be hosting a workshop for students with Steve Tasane, writer of ‘Child I’, a young adults story of children in a refugee camp who have lost families, homes and even their names. There will also be an event based around the recent publication ‘Seldom Heard Voices – Street Level Poetry’ which draws attention to a neglected area of creativity amongst homeless people.
Organisers hope this event will draw attention to their situation as well as fostering a sense of involvement among the writers involved.
Roy Gregory said: “Bridport, despite its idyllic West Dorset location, is still, at heart, a small working-class industrial town with all the concomitant social problems. It does have a thriving art and music scene but what BridLit Fringe is aiming for is to extend that kind of cultural engagement with the written arts to wider audiences.”
Local businesses and venues are generously supporting events and that way it has been possible to keep the tickets at an affordable £5.
Roy summed up saying: BridLit Fringe will be quirky and unusual and will showcase what this little town does best – the unexpected.”
BridLit Fringe starts on Monday 12th November and tickets for all events are available now from Bridport Tourist Information Centre at £5.
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