Milton Keynes Lit Fest opens with award-winning musician Sam Lee

Five days of events include readings, masterclasses and workshops

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:42 pm

Award-winning musician Sam Lee opens the October Milton Keynes Lit Fest on Thursday (7/10) with The Nightingale, the first in a month long series of four special events.

Well-known as a highly inventive and original singer, song collector and successful creator of live events, Sam Lee is also a passionate conservationist. Throughout history, the sweet song of the nightingale has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world. In his new book, The Nightingale: Notes on a Songbird (Cornerstone, 2021), Sam reveals in beautiful detail the bird's song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood.

From Greek mythology to John Keats, to Persian poetry and 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square', he delves into the various ways the nightingale has been celebrated through traditions, folklore, music, literature, from ancient history to the present day. The Nightingale is a unique and lyrical portrait of a famed yet elusive songbird.

Sam Lee

Director of the Nest Collective and The Song Collectors Collective and award-winning musician, Sam has been instrumental as one of the young activists shaping the landscape of folk, world and roots music. With three critically acclaimed albums, including his Mercury Music Prize nominated debut and the newly released Old Wow, Sam works holistically in challenging the very nature of our heritage music in the 21st century.

> Ian Dunt in Conversation – How To Be A Liberal, is the presentation on Thursday 14, 7pm.

"This is a history of ideas as it should be written - brilliant, vivid story-telling about the people who shaped liberalism, the challenges it has faced over the centuries, its commitment to the truth and why it's now more important than ever to defend it."- Caroline Lucas MP

Ian Dunt is a journalist and political commentator in the UK, writing across a range of issues, including immigration, civil liberties and social justice. He is a columnist on the i newspaper and appears as a pundit on BBC TV, Sky News and Al-Jazeera.

Ian Dunt

His first book, Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? (Canbury), revealed the difficulty of leaving the EU before it became apparent to many British politicians. His new book, How To Be A Liberal (Canbury), traces the growth of individual freedoms in western society, and the threat posed to by the new surge of nationalism. Prospect magazine called it "required reading for anyone interested in politics and philosophy."

> Writing Workshop: Putting Poetry into your Prose with Charlie Hill - Thursday, October 21, 7pm.

This online workshop – limited to a maximum of 15 places - will teach you in a practical way how to write better sentences and make your writing sing, while avoiding cliché.

Your sentences are the building blocks – the DNA – of your prose. In this two-hour workshop, Charlie Hill will take you through:

Charlie Hill

1. The importance of the sentence

2. How to avoid stock phrases

3. How to fit sentences together

4. Applying the techniques of poetry to prose

Jonathan Pizarro

You will learn how to become a better writer, as well as edit your work. This workshop contains practical elements and is open to writers of all genres of prose, at all stages of their careers.

Charlie Hill is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, a novella, countless short stories and a memoir, I Don't Want to Go to the Taj Mahal: Stories of a Birmingham Boy (Repeater Books, 2020).

> Exiles on Main Street: Two Emerging Writers with Jonathan Pizarro and Golnoosh Nour - Friday, October 29, 7pm

Exiles on Main Street presents two emerging writers, both writing in a London that is neither their home town nor the capital of their home territory.

Both explore cultural conflict and misunderstanding, not least as both writers are also LGBT. Jonathan Pizarro is a Gibraltarian writer living in London. He studied creative writing at Brunel University, where he was mentored by Booker Prize winning writer, Bernardine Evaristo. His fiction has been featured in Popshot, Litro, Untitled: Voices, and Queerlings, and shortlisted for the Aurora Prize for Writing. He writes a regular non-fiction series, Exiliado, which discusses being Queer, Gibraltarian, and an immigrant in the UK. He is working on his first novel, Sons of Lot, set in the Gibraltar of 1994.

Golnoosh Nour was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1988 and moved to the UK to undertake an MA in Creative Writing. She is the author of The Ministry of Guidance and Other Stories, recently shortlisted for the Polari Prize. Her poetry collection, Rocksong, will be published in October by Verve Poetry Press. Have completed a PhD, Golnoosh teaches Creative Writing at the University of Reading. She’s the co-editor of Magma 80 and the anthology Queer Life, Queer Love, forthcoming with Muswell Press.

Golnoosh Nour

Tickets for all four events can be purchased online at the festival website: