'UK's most diverse literature festival'
The Bradford Literature Festival, which bills itself as the most diverse litfest in the UK, has announced its 2019 programme. The festival runs from 28 June to 7 July.
Stars of the festival will include Chris Riddell, Jeanette Winterson, Bernadine Evaristo, Steve Silberman, Karen Armstrong, AA Dhand and AC Grayling; poets Lemn Sissay, George the Poet, Simon Armitage, Imtiaz Dharker and Michael Rosen; musicians Luke Goss, Lady Leshurr, Lowkey and Saul Williams; scientist Mark Miodownik; politicians Shashi Tharoor and Sayeeda Warsi; broadcaster June Sarpong; comedian Sofie Hagen; and Islamic scholar Habib Ali al-Jifri.
The festival will mark the anniversaries of the Iranian Revolution, the fatwa calling for the execution of Salman Rushdie, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Peterloo Massacre, and the Stonewall riots.
More than 70,000 people - more than half of them from BAME backgrounds - attended the festival last year.
Syima Aslam, director, said: "Bradford Literature Festival is about meeting an urgent and vital public need for space in which the extraordinary times we live in can be explored, interrogated and better understood, as well as acknowledging and celebrating that there is still much that is beautiful and hopeful in the world.
"This year, for the fifth time, Bradford Literature Festival is proud to deliver a programme which celebrates diversity, empathy, and artistic excellence, offers platform to marginalised voices, and will lift the spirits of audiences and visitors from our local communities and across the world."