Shorelines: Literature Festival of the Sea

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Metal announce all-star cast of literary talents for 2013 Shorelines: Literature Festival of the Sea

Dates: Friday 8 – Sunday 10 November 2013
Venue: Festival HQ – Leigh Community Centre, 81 Elm Road, SS9 1HT, Leigh on Sea
and other venues, all within 5 minute walking distance.

Metal’s Shorelines Festival in 2011 was the first of its kind – a celebration of sea-themed contemporary and classic writing in all its forms. The biennial event is back in 2013 with a fantastic line-up of international authors, poets, artists, storytellers and musicians, bringing texts – old and new – to life.

Metal has created a small, intelligent and thought-provoking festival, curated by acclaimed writer Rachel Lichtenstein. Shorelines takes place in various outdoor and indoor venues at the heart of the fishing community of Leigh-on-sea on the banks of Thames Estuary, at the point where it officially becomes ‘open sea’. This unique festival aims to provoke discussion, re-awaken senses, excite the adventurous spirit and explore new literature about the sea.

Highlights in 2013 include: multi-award winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane(current chair of the Man Booker Prize) on Britain’s most dangerous path, the Broomway; Mercury Award winning folk singer Sam Lee bringing his own take on sea shanties; cult pop historian Travis Elborough (Wish You Were Here) on the British Seaside; Man Booker shortlisted author Deborah Levy with Swimming Home; a mixed-media installation The SeaWomen of Korea by Greek artist Mikhail Karikis; award winning author and broadcaster Philip Hoare discussing his most recent book The Sea Inside (BBC4 Book of the Week); noir crime fiction authorCathi Unsworth reading from her novel Weirdo, set in a fictional seaside town; a multi-media performance of Swandown with Iain Sinclair, artist Andrew Kötting& musician Jem Finer; a special performance of Britten’s children’s opera Noye’s Fludde, in the 100th anniversary year of his birth; French-Norwegian writer and artist Caroline Bergvall (currently exhibited at Tate) with DRIFT, her interpretation of Saxon sea poems; an afternoon of readings and talks by contemporary non-fiction writers exploring the unique landscape of the Thames Estuary, including Ken WorpoleJules Pretty (winner of 2013 Angle Prize) and Greek-based writerJulian HoffmanThe Fishwives Choir; local author Syd Moore (The Drowning Pool) set in the Essex coastline; an alternative audio walk exploring historical tales from the Estuary by US artist and writer Justin Hopper; films; writing workshops for both children and adults and much more.

All talks, events and workshops during the day are FREE but booking is essential. Evening events are ticketed. BOOK HERE.

Press: For further details about the Shorelines, full programme details, interview requests and photographs please contact Syd Moore on 01702 470700 orsyd@metalculture.com

Shorelines is made possible with the kind support of Arts Council EnglandSouthend on Sea Borough Council and Leigh Town Council.

 

PROGRAMME:

FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER

7.30pm (doors from 6pm) Main Hall, Ground Floor
DRIFT

Shorelines opens with an extraordinarily powerful performance of DRIFT by internationally renowned writer and artist Caroline Bergvall and Norwegian percussionist and rising improv star, Ingar Zach. Inspired by the language and themes of Seafarer, an anonymous, 10th Century Anglo-Saxon poem, DRIFT takes you on a journey through time where languages mix and text, voice and live percussion conjure up the ancient to cohabit with the present. Performance lasts 90mins.
£8 / conc £6 BOOK HERE.

SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER

10am – 11am Room 1, Ground Floor
FILMS FOR KIDS

A series of sea-themed short films for children and the young at heart.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

11am – 11.20am Main Hall, Ground Floor
CHRIS SCHÜLER – MAPPING THE SEA

Chris Schüler is fascinated by maps and travel. As an editor he has shaped many travel guides, atlases and non-fiction books. As a writer, he has recently completed his third book Mapping the Sea and Stars (Frechmann Kolon, 2012), which charts the cartography of the world’s oceans.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

11.25pm – 11.55pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
SAM LLEWELLYN – THE REAL SEA

Sam is the editor of the Marine Quarterly, as well as being a prolific writer of adult and children’s fiction. His talk The Real Sea is a polemical excursion into the way people living on an island are perpetually urged to look at the sea as a metaphor for landgoing preoccupations.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

11.30am – 6pm Room 1, Ground Floor
PROGRAMME OF SHORT FILMS 

An eclectic programme of short experimental films that look at different aspects of the sea, with a particular focus on the Thames Estuary. Including Confluence by Doffy Weir; Estuary: Working Lives by Rachel Lichtenstein; and Requiem for Cod by YoHa.

12noon – 3.30pm Room 4, 1st Floor
WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS

Drop-in to have a go at word-based, visual art workshops; try your hand at writing – landscape description, character portrayal or sea-themed adventure; design a new coastal level for community computer game Play Southend; or sit and read our collection of water-based children’s books.

12noon – 12.30pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
RUTH LITTLE – CAPE FAREWELL

Dramaturg and writer, Ruth Little, was one of 40 artists and scientists to join the 2008 Cape Farewell boat trip to Disko Bay, West Greenland. Hear how this experience on the sea and at the coal face of the effects of climate change affected her and her work.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

12.40pm – 1.10pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
TRAVIS ELBOROUGH

Writer, author and cultural commentator, Travis Elborough tells us about how he approached the research and writing of Wish You Were Here – England on Sea (Sceptre, 2010) – his survey of British people beside the seaside. FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

1pm – 1.40pm BREAK FOR LUNCH
Why not place your order for lunch in advance at Metal’s Café Valise on site at Shorelines HQ. Delicious seasonal Soup, a variety of Panini, door-step sandwiches and a wide range of melt-in-your-mouth, home-made cakes, teas and fresh coffee.

1.40pm – 2.10pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
CATHI UNSWORTH

Cult noir writer and journalist Cathi Unsworth takes us to an imagined Norfolk coastal town in her critically acclaimed crime thriller Weirdo (Serpent’s Tail, 2012).
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

2pm – 2.45pm Room 7, 1st Floor
STORYTELLING FOR KIDS

For ages 8 and above. Sam Llewellyn, author of some forty books about the sea, reads from one of his exciting novels for children. Stories which are still “greeted with glad cries by seafaring folk”.

2.15pm – 2.45pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
PHILIP HOARE

Award-winning author and TV presenter Philip Hoare talks about his startling new nonfiction book The Sea Inside (Fourth Estate, 2013, recently featured on Radio 4’s Book of the Week). During his research he travelled from the Isle of Wight to Sri Lanka, Tasmania, New Zealand and beyond, to rediscover our ‘forgotten’ sea and the islands, birds and beasts that inhabit it.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

2.50pm – 3.25pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
DEBORAH LEVY

“This book is all about the sea”, said the acclaimed author about Swimming Home (Faber & Faber, 2012) her recent novel, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker prize.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

3pm – 3.30pm Room 7, 1st Floor
STORYTELLING FOR KIDS

Robert Hallmann reads from his book Festival of the Gargoyles, a historical children’s adventure story set in the mid-1770s around the muddy Thames estuary marshes.
Suitable for Children 8+
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

3.30pm – 4pm Main Hall, Ground Floor (and installation in Room 6, 1st Floor)
MIKHAIL KARIKIS – SEAWOMEN

SeaWomen is a multi-media installation by the internationally acclaimed Greek artist Mikhail Karikis, which explores the story of a unique group of elderly Korean women who dive to great depths with no oxygen supply to find pearls. Visit the installation in Room 6 and hear directly from the artist about the making of this extraordinary artwork. FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

4pm – 6pm Room 4, 1st Floor
CREATIVE WRITING FOR ADULTS

Two hour workshop for aspiring writers led by Lee Rourke (Everyday, 2007, book of short stories; Varroa Destructor, 3am Press, 2013; and Canal, 2010, Melville House, winner of The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2010).  Places are very limited so book quickly to avoid disappointment.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

4pm – 6pm – Off site
SEA WALKS AROUND OLD LEIGH Fancy a bit of fresh air? We have a choice of two guided walks around the old fishing town of Leigh-on-Sea.

Walk One: celebrated horror writer, Syd Moore (Drowning Pool, 2009; Witch Hunt, 2011) brings to life the many myths and legends of Leigh-on-Sea, including the infamous ‘sea witch’, Sarah Moore – ending with a pint in the local pub of the same name. FREE but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

Walk Two: artist and writer, Justin Hopper leads a guided tour of his specially commissioned project, Public Record: Estuary – a cycle of site-specific poems using historical events that occurred near the Leigh shore to reimagine the estuary’s landscape. FREE but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

7pm (doors at 6pm) – Main Hall, Ground Floor
SWANDOWN 

For 4 weeks in the autumn of 2011, award-winning film-maker Andrew Kötting and cult writer Iain Sinclair pedalled a plastic swan over 160 miles from the seaside of Hastings to Hackney in East London, meeting all sorts of people along the way. This live multimedia performance, with Sinclair, Kötting and a host of others describes this adventure through spoken word, film and experimental acoustic sound led by Jem Finer. Not to be missed!

Supported by SUNDOWN 
Southend’s own poetry collective, Sundown start the evening with their usual delightful and eclectic mix of performance poetry, comedy and music. On the bill: Sundown Poets, Ray Morgan, Eirikur Orn Norodahl, and Greanvine with Nancy Wallace.
£10 / conc £8 – BOOK HERE.

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER

10am – 11am Room 1, Ground Floor
FILMS FOR KIDS

A series of sea-themed short films for children and the young at heart.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

11.30am – 6pm Room 1, Ground Floor
PROGRAMME OF SHORT FILMS 

A second chance to see our eclectic programme of short films exploring the unique landscape of the Thames Estuary as well as different aspects of the sea (See Sat listing).

12noon – 3.30pm Room 4, 1st Floor
WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS

Drop-in to have a go at word-based, visual art workshops; try your hand at writing – landscape description, character portrayal or sea-themed adventure; design a new coastal level for community computer game Play Southend; or sit and read our collection of water-based children’s books.

12noon – 12.30pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
JULES PRETTY

Jules Pretty discusses his latest book This Luminous Coast (2011, awarded the New Angle Prize for Literature in 2013), which describes his exploration of the Essex and Sussex coastlines on foot.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

12.30pm – 1pm Room 7, 1st Floor
LEE ROURKE & TIM BURROWS

Trying to Fit a Number to a Name: Estuary Myth and Identity 
A Q&A with Lee Rourke and Tim Burrows hosted by Kit Caless of Influx Press, who are publishing essays by the writers in response to Southend and Thames Estuary Essex. Rourke and Burrows explore the area’s marshy margins that contradict the binary logic of tabloid culture, taking in Dr Feelgood, the sea, topography and myth. Lee Rourke’s novel Vulgar Things (set along the estuary, Canvey Island, and Southend) will be published by 4th Estate, Harper Collins in 2014. Tim Burrows writes for a number of publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Quietus.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

12.35pm – 1.05pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
KEN WORPOLE

The celebrated author of numerous books on landscape, architecture and public policy will – to our delight – be launching his new book, The New English Landscape, a study of the Essex coastal landscape at Shorelines. With stunning landscape photography by Jason Orton.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

1.05pm – 1.40pm BREAK FOR LUNCH
Why not place your order for lunch in advance at Metal’s Café Valise on site at Shorelines HQ. Delicious seasonal Soup, a variety of Panini, door-step sandwiches and a wide range of melt-in-your-mouth, home-made cakes, teas and fresh coffee.

1pm – 3pm Room 7, 1st Floor
METAL LIT LAB READING

In 2012 Metal hosted a LAB for talented, unpublished writers from the east region. Seven of the participants read from their current, sea-themed works in progress: Jessica Russell, Jo Wells, Carya Gish, Rhian Burgess, Farah Aziz, Sally Alexander and Paul Giles.
FREE ENTRY.

1.45pm – 2.15pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
JULIAN HOFFMAN

Julian Hoffman’s recent book, The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World won the 2012 AWP Award Series for Creative Nonfiction. During this illustrated talk Julian will discuss his recent investigations into the contested natural landscape of the Hoo Peninsula, where the Thames Estuary airport is planned.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

2.20pm – 2.55pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
ROBERT MACFARLANE

Bestselling author of Mountains of the Mind (2003), The Wild Places (2007) and most recently The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (2012) Robert Macfarlane (current chair of the judges for the Man Booker Prize 2013) will talk about his explorations on the Broomway, Britain’s most dangerous path, found offshore from the Foulness Island.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

3pm – 3.30pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
RACHEL LICHTENSTEIN

Local author and curator of Shorelines Rachel Lichtenstein will discuss her latest book for Penguin, Estuary: a deep exploration of Place (to be published in 2015). She shares images and stories from those who have spent their working lives on the Thames Estuary, details of the shipwrecks that litter the seabed and some shocking statistics about the new Thames Gateway super port.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

3.15pm – 3.45pm Room 7, 1st Floor
STORYTELLING FOR KIDS

Robert Hallmann reads from his book Festival of the Gargoyles, a historical children’s adventure story set in the mid-1770s around the muddy Thames estuary marshes.
Suitable for Children 8+
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

3.45pm – 6pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
THE FORGOTTEN SPACE with introduction by GARETH EVANS

“Perhaps the biggest seagoing disaster is the global supply chain, which – maybe in a more fundamental way than financial speculation – leads the world economy to the abyss”. On the eve of the opening of the new DP World Global Port on our doorstep, this is a must-see film for anyone interested in how consumerist society impacts on the world. Film directed by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch. Introduced for Shorelines by film curator and writer Gareth Evans.
FREE ENTRY but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

4pm – 6pm Room 4, 1st Floor
CREATIVE WRITING FOR ADULTS

A second opportunity to book a place for a master-class in creative writing with Lee Rourke. See Sat listing. Places are very limited so book quickly to avoid disappointment.
FREE ENTRY but BOOKING ESSENTIAL but booking is essential – BOOK HERE.

4.30pm – 5pm Room 7, 1st Floor
FISHWIVES CHOIR

Jane Dolby talks about the Fishwives Choir project and their debut single released to raise money for the charity The Fishermen’s Mission. The single is a very personal version of two famous nautical songs ‘When The Boat Comes In’ and ‘Eternal Father’. Jane will also be performing some of her own songs.
FREE ENTRY

6pm – 6.45pm Main Hall, Ground Floor
LILI LA SCALA – SHIP SONGS

From the poetry of Baudelaire, to the music of Tom Waits, Lili has scoured her music collection (and those of her friends) to find some of the most haunting, nautically-inspired melodies. With a little something for everyone, this show is sure to make a sea-farer out of the most determined land-lubber. So sail away listening to the divine siren song of one of modern cabaret’s most glamorous divas.
FREE ENTRY

7pm – 8pm St Clements Church
NOYE’S FLUDDE
Southend Girls and Boys Choir, with accompanying Southend school choirs perform Benjamin Britten’s famous children’s opera telling the biblical story of Noah’s Arc built to survive the devastating floods.
£6 / conc £4 – BOOK HERE.

8.30pm (doors at 7pm) Main Hall, Ground Floor
SAM LEE & FRIENDS

Mercury Prize nominated, Sam Lee & Friends perform unconventional and contemporary interpretations of folk music, challenging all preconceptions of what ‘traditional folk’ should sound like. We are delighted to welcome them to Leigh-on-Sea to perform a specially selected set of sea-inspired songs for Shorelines.
£10 / conc £8 BOOK HERE.

ALL WEEKEND

SEAWOMEN by MIKHAIL KARIKIS
Room 6, 1st Floor

SeaWomen is a multi-media installation which focuses on a community of female sea workers living on the island of Jeju – a volcanic rock between S.Korea, Japan and China. This old and fast vanishing community consists of women between the ages of 50-90 who dive to great depths with no oxygen supply to catch sea-food and find pearls. Karikis’s immersive installation depicts the vocal practices of the women, including the unique sounds of their ancient and transgenerationally-transmitted breathing technique.

FIVE DIALS MAGAZINE
Five Dials, the online literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton and edited by Craig Taylor will be on site at Shorelines Festival HQ to create a special nautical edition live during the festival. Look out for their journalist and illustrator in the crowds.

BOOK SHOP
Hoxton Books returns to Shorelines with a huge selection of esoteric, rare, out of print and contemporary books about the Sea (and other subjects). Visit, browse and buy from them in Café Valise at the centre of Shorelines Festival HQ.

CAFÉ VALISE
Metal’s very own pop-up café has travelled the UK’s arts festivals, including Liverpool Biennial 2012, Peterborough Arts Festival 2012, Village Green 2013 and now Shorelines. Serving delicious seasonal Soup, a variety of panini, door-step sandwiches and a wide range of melt-in-your-mouth, home-made cakes, teas and fresh coffee throughout the day. Becomes a bar in the evening. A perfect spot to re-charge your batteries and swap notes with fellow festival-goers.

DAVID QUENTIN – BROOMWAY EXHIBITION
While enjoying the welcoming ambience of Café Valise, make sure you look at David Quentin’s 35mm B/W photographs of Robert Macfarlane walking the Broomway, the notorious ‘deadliest path in Britain’ along the Essex offshore. Commissioned for Silt, one of the most striking chapters of Macfarlane’s brilliant book The Old Ways.

CHILDREN’S WRITING COMPETITION
Three categories: Age 5-7, Age 8-11, Age 12-16
Deadline for submissions: 23 October
Send us your short prose piece about the Thames Estuary and the shoreline and if shortlisted, it will be read out over the course of the Shorelines festival weekend. All submissionsshould be sent to chalkwell@metalculture.com with Competition in the subject line.

PUBLIC RECORD: ESTUARY by JUSTIN HOPPER
“…quite as salt as the sea.”
Public Record: Estuary is a cycle of poems inspired by archival newspaper reports of Victorian sea disasters near Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, created by writer and artist Justin Hopper. Comprised of 19th century texts mingled with new writing and set within a soundscape by noted musicians, Scanner and Lost Harbours, Public Record haunts the shoreline with ghosts from Leigh’s own past. As the ‘end’ of the River Thames, the waters at Leigh are neither river nor sea – a perfect place for summoning the spectre of England’s in-between places: the edgelands between industry and countryside, between nature and town, between the historic and the forgotten.

The work can be experienced in two ways:

– As an audio-poetry walk along the water’s edge of Old Leigh, with stunning views and historic surroundings. Just pick up a set of headphones from Shorelines Festival HQ – Leigh Community Centre – or download the piece on your own device.

– As a multimedia installation within Shorelines Festival HQ, featuring photographs by Simon Fowler. Watch and listen in the warmth of Café Valise at Leigh Community Centre.

 

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