Festival’s rousing conclusion

Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews

A jam-packed day of music, poetry, stories and star names will bring the Lutonia festival to an end on Saturday April 2.

Broadcaster and singer Cerys Matthews takes part in three events, leading a family sing-along around her best-selling book Hook, Line and Singer at 12 noon, participating in a poetry evening and introducing a series of events from the Luton Irish Forum, taking place at The Hat Factory in Bute Street, to mark the Centenary year of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The day comes to a close with ‘Punk Poet’ Dr John Cooper Clarke, who makes his debut visit to Luton, with his latest UK and US touring show from 8.15pm at Luton Library Theatre. There will be a mix of classic verse, new material, comic ponderings on modern life and good honest gags, riffs and chat. Clarke is supported by poet, performer and author Salena Godden, described as “the doyenne of the spoken word scene” by Ian McMillan on BBC Radio 3.

Other events of the day include a visit from Book and Kitchen, which runs a successful African reading group in West London, An African Reader Guide, introducing ‘must reads’ accompanied by Somalia author Nadifa Mohamed, Africa editor at the BBC World Service Mary Harper, and author and lecturer Geoff Ryman.

There will also be a sound installation named Transmission at Luton Central Library, a collage in the form of a continuous stream of sound and music drifting through a musical landscape of orchestral, ambient and folk music, recorded poetry readings and the sounds of Luton.

Hafiza Mohamed, Lutonia programming co-ordinator for Luton Culture, said: “We are delighted to bring such high calibre artists to audiences in Luton and to support local arts and cultural organisations.

“We strive to make Lutonia a nationally recognised literature festival which will continue to bring important and influential arts to the town and to celebrate local culture too”.

This year’s guest curator Steve Abbott, who grew up on the Farley Hill Estate in the 1960 and 1970s, said “We aim to provide events that will inspire and inform both locals and visitors to the town”.

To find out more and to book tickets, go to www.lutonculture.com, call the box office on 01582 878100 or follow on social media @lutonlibraries, #Lutonia.