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MIRANDA SAWYER – on the role of radio today. 


Does the perpetual sound of radio, wherever we go, inform, inspire, or interrupt our best thoughts? What are the key differences between local, national, and international radio? Which serves us the better? Can you write or read with the radio on? Do you know about Radio Garden? Any other questions? 
Author, journalist, and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer writes chiefly for the Observer but has also appeared in ‘GQ’, ‘Vogue’ and the ‘Guardian’. Her most recent book is Out of Time.

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DREAM ADVENTURES - guided visualisation plus talking about the power of dreams with Cat Weatherill.

6pm ~ Event now over

Join Cat Weatherill, the best-selling author of Wild Magic, to hear how ideas come from your imagination and dreams. 
Then she will turn off the lights in her 400 year old cottage and you can write with her - by candlelight! Fun and magic are guaranteed. There will be opportunities to ask

Cat questions too. No candle required. A pen and paper will be

good but not essential. Suitable for age 8 and over. 

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RACHEL CLARKE – with a love letter to life!


Most of us live thinking we have all the time in the world. But there is a point when we may know that time is running out. At that moment, a life that may already be wonderful becomes extra-precious.
When everything you have been and done and meant to the world is being taken from you, then human connections are the main medicine.
Former TV journalist who retrained as a medic, Dr Rachel Clarke, is the author of best-selling Your Life in My Hands. Her latest book is Dear Life – a doctor’s story of love and loss. 
Rachel will be in conversation with Dr Natasha Wiggins, a palliative medicine consultant at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.

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Photograph: Laura Gallant Buzzfeed UK


Most events are FREE to view at the advertised times!
But the Festival needs your help, to survive this year and return next.
Suggested minimum donation: £5 per event. Thank you!

TONY HILLIER – on community poetry and Swindon Diamonds,

in conversation with Sara-Jane Arbury and YOU! 


How can unheard voices best be heard? What is the role of a ‘community poet’? How well do poetry and politics mix? Are poems best served hot? Any other questions?
Erstwhile self-confessed sixties idealist and long-time youth and community worker, who has now hit the biblical age of threescore years and ten, Tony ‘I’ve just written this’ Hillier, should be happy as a farmyard hen, if it weren’t for the fact he is the other gender and much prefers going on a poetry bender.  He likes to be where the action is, on the streets, at the barricades, with the people. And there, he turns ordinary and extraordinary aspects of daily life into vivid, urgent, and evocative poems.  
At the turn of the century, encouraged by his urge to find poetry among the people, Tony launched himself as Swindon Community Poet, and no one objected. Now, many will be thankful he soldiered on and be delighted to see special Swindon-born poems in his new IMPpress publication, Swindon Diamonds.

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SIMON MAY – on How to be a Refugee, one family’s story of exile and belonging.


The most familiar fate of persecuted people living in Hitler’s Germany was either emigration or deportation to concentration camps. But there was another, much rarer, side to life at that time: denial of your origin to the point where you manage to erase almost all consciousness of it. You refuse to believe your own heritage.
In How to Be a Refugee, son of a violinist and a brush manufacturer, international author, and visiting professor of philosophy at King’s College London, Simon May tells the gripping story of how three sisters – his mother and his two aunts – grappled with what they felt to be a lethal heritage. His haunting story forcefully illuminates questions of belonging and home – questions that continue to press in on us today.

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