The first Todmorden Book Festival launches with unveiling of patron

Todmorden Book Festival: Rising poetry star Andrew McMillan has agreed to be its first patron
Todmorden Book Festival: Rising poetry star Andrew McMillan has agreed to be its first patron

Todmorden is to have its own book festival later this year - and one of the country’s rising poetry stars has agreed to become patron of the new event.

Todmorden Book Festival will debut this autumn, running from November 16 to 24, bookended by two weekends.

Autumn date: Todmorden will host the nine-day festival

Autumn date: Todmorden will host the nine-day festival

Organisers have begun planning the festival and exploring potential funding sources, are delighted poet and writer Andrew McMillan has agreed to become its first patron.

South Yorkshire-born, Manchester-based Andrew’s debut collection “physical” was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award and it went on to collect a host of leading prizes including the 2016 Somerset Maugham Award and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, and was a was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2015.

His second collection “playtime” will be published by Jonatyhan Cape this year.

Andrew said: “I’m delighted to be joining Todmorden Book Festival as patron; in this current time, there has never been a greater need for books and for the written word - to understand ourselves and those around us.

“A book festival that sits, as Todmorden does, on the borderlands between counties, between rural and urban, between the landscape and city, feels like a thrilling and vital thing.”

Involving Team Tod, Todmorden Information Centre and Calderdale Libraries representatives, the organising committee also includes volunteers experienced in organising book festivals elsewhere in the country.

A festival spokesperson said: “Our aim is to inspire, challenge and entertain people through provision of a quality programme of events with new and established writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and storytellers.”