Knighton Festival of Books, Art and Music

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Knighton Festival of Books, Art and Music 2023

The Knighton Festival of Books, Art and Music celebrates its fifth year in October with a host of exciting events. The packed programme includes poetry readings, authors’ talks, concerts, a film, an art and book fair, craft and writing workshops, alongside organised rambles, a town walk and a cycle ride.  This will all take place, or start from, the Knighton Community Centre over the weekend of 20 – 22 October.

The Festival begins with a poetry themed afternoon featuring three brilliant and award winning poets: Professor Fiona Sampson, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch and Ness Owen. Fiona will be talking about her latest book Starlight Wood: Walking back to the Romantic Countryside, while Sam and Ness will be reading from their latest collections.

In the evening Flicks in the Sticks will be showing Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War. This compelling, multi-award winning documentary brings to life the story of the brilliant but often overlooked British war artist, killed in a plane crash over Iceland in 1942.

On Saturday 21 October there will be an art and book fair with lots of stalls in the main hall during the morning, while in the library there will be a self-publishing workshop run by Bob Fowke. This is followed by a creative writing workshop run by Stefan Mohamed.

There will be a series of writers’ talks in the Reynolds Room throughout the day. Diana Ashworth, author of the hilarious Iolo’s Revenge will be recounting the trials and tribulations of owning a smallholding, while Bruce Cardwell will showcase A Hardy Breed, his stunning images of sheep farming in mid-Wales. In the afternoon there is a return to fiction with Diana Powell author of Things Found on the Mountain, a Hardyesque coming of age tale set in the Black Mountains .

We welcome back well-known local writer and raconteur Ian Marchant, who will be reading from and talking about his latest work One Fine Day, an amusing investigation into his family history in the 18th century which throws up some interesting parallels and insights into today’s society.

Mike Parker then joins us to talk about his book All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the places between, ‘a funny, thoughtful and evocative investigation of the Welsh-English border.’

The afternoon ends with a performance by the Limbo Landers aka Welsh-border based singer-songwriter Rowan Bartram with author Julie Brominicks (who also spoke at the Festival last year about her book The Edge of Cymru.)

On Sunday 22 October there is a scientific themed morning with talks by astronomer Professor Jane Greaves and scientific journalist and author Jo Marchant, which will appeal to those who enjoyed last year’s fascinating talk by Sir Martin Rees.

In the afternoon there will be an illustrated talk by art historian Peter Lord and music historian Rhian Davies on their new history of Welsh music, art and identity : The Art of Music: Branding the Welsh Nation.

We have included an additional event under the Festival umbrella on Sunday 29th October: a concert by local musicians oboist Ruth Watson and pianist Jeremy Fisher, together with  Australian/Belgian virtuoso flautist Wendy Quinlan, at St Edward’s Hall, Knighton.


All events will be held in the Knighton Community Centre unless otherwise stated below. Some events are free, others have a small charge of £5. A discounted weekend ticket for all the talks is available at £25 (this does not include the writers’ workshop, Flicks film or closing concert in St Edward’s Hall.) Advance booking is recommended via the Eventbrite ticketing website. For booking details click here


For full details of the programme, see below


Programme as follows:

Friday 20 October

9.30 am Breezing to the Bookery – Guided Cycle Ride for Women – booking essential

At 2pm Professor Fiona Sampson will read from her latest book Starlight Wood: Walking Back to the Romantic Countryside

3pm New Quay poet Samantha Wynne Rhydderch will read from her latest collection and discuss her practice

4pm Anglesey based poet Ness Owen will read from her collection Moon Jellyfish Can Barely Swim

Tickets for the afternoon are pre-bookable at £5, includes a glass of wine. Event sponsored by Knighton Library Friends

In the main hall – tickets £6 on the door


Saturday 21 October 

10 am    Free self-publishing workshop in the library led by Bob Fowke of You Caxton Publications

11.30 am Bruce Cardwell: A Hardy Breed – Sheep Farming in Wales – in the Reynolds Room

Photographer Bruce Cardwell will showcase his stunning collection of black and white photographs celebrating shepherding and sheep farming in mid and north Wales. Tickets £5

11 am to 1pm Creating Compelling Characters – Writing Workshop with Stefan Mohamed: Join award-winning author and poet Stefan and learn the buiding blocks of charcter creation.
In the library, tickets £10 – as numbers are limited advance booking is essential

Set in the Black Mountains near Hay and the artists’ colony of Eric Gill and David Jones at Capel y Ffin in the 1920s, this is a lyrical coming of age tale about place, landscape and love. Tickets £5 – in the Reynolds Room

2.30 pm Ian Marchant: One Fine Day – A Journey in Time
Well-known local writer and raconteur Ian Marchant will be reading from and talking about his latest work One Fine Day, an amusing investigation into his family history in the 18th century which throws up some interesting parallels and insights into today’s society.

Tickets £5 – in the Reynolds Room


3.30 pm Mike Parker: All the Wide Border and the Places Between

In this witty and engaging guide, travel writer Mike Parker tells the story of the Wales-England border – as a line on the map, an ongoing history, a thing in our heads and as something that roared so unexpectedly into focus in the pandemic.
Tickets £5 – in the Reynolds Room

Welsh-border based singer-songwriter Rowan Bartram, together with author Julie Brominicks, combine music and prose to transport audiences on a lyrical journey round Cymru’s coasts and borders.

Tickets £5 – in the Reynolds Room


Sunday 22 October


Tickets £5 – in the Reynolds Room

Sunday 29th October

3pm   Festival Finale:  Concert featuring oboist Ruth Watson, pianist Jeremy Fisher, and Australian/Belgian virtuoso flautist Wendy Quinlan.
Hosted by the Knighton and District Concert Society at St Edwards Hall – tickets £12 (£2 for students) on the door

To find out more about each day please go to



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