Portsmouth Bookfest – Creative Writing events featuring Alison Habens

With a strong literary history including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells, Portsmouth is a wondrous place for fiction. Portsmouth BookFest continues the honorary creative writing tradition, hosting exciting events across the city featuring popular and accessible authors.

As part of Bookfest this year, Creative Writing Course Leader Dr Alison Habens is presenting two events across February at the Central Library.

Talk details available below:

Stories of your Life – Alison Habens

25th February 2017, 1pm,  Room F, Third Floor, Central Library, £3

Always wanted to write your life story, but didn’t know where to start? This class will take you step by step in a series of fun and interesting life-writing tasks. Working in prose, poetry or script, the activities are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable.

Pompey versus Mansfield Park – Alison Habens

28th February 2017, 7pm, Room F, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, £3

Experience Jane Austen’s famous novel, Mansfield Park, from the point of view of Portsmouth. Participants will consider the rude things said about Pompey v. Mansfield Park, analysing and appreciating the literary skill in comments such as this:

‘In a review of the two houses, as they appeared to her before the end of a week, Fanny was tempted to apply to them Dr. Johnson’s celebrated judgement as to matrimony and celibacy, and say, that though Mansfield Park might have some pains, Portsmouth could have no pleasures.’

Discussions will also explore Austen’s strange link to the city through its oldest building, the mysterious Wymering manor, where it’s said Austen’s brother – once the church warden – has been a ghostly sighting. This fun seminar will include a chance to write about local settings, inspired by the Austen stories.

“I’m a Portsmouth fan and a Jane Austen fan,” explains Alison. “And this talk will get the two sides of me fighting it out over Austen’s cruel insults and clever slights to my home city, in her novel Mansfield Park.”

The University of Portsmouth’s Eldon Buildling will also host a talk by Polly Morland Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

Metamorphosis & Book Signing by Polly Morland 

Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 3pm, Eldon Building 0.20, Portsmouth University (followed by a book signing), FREE – Booking Required: See Eventbrite

Talk repeated at 5.30 for 6pm talk, at Blackwell’s, Portsmouth PO1 2EF, please book here.

The talk by author Polly Morland explores the power of true stories to open up new ways of thinking about how and why we change and how the imagination is key to the transformation process.

Metamorphosis – How and Why We Change is Polly’s third book. Combining the journalism of her background in film-making with ideas from psychology, philosophy and literature, her books blend remarkable human stories with reflections on how we live today—and how we can live better.

BookFest aims to promote book buying and borrowing; find more information of the above events and see the full program here.

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