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Pop Up Poetry Shop

Paisley has a rich poetic history, from Robert Tannahill to Tom Leonard. If you’d like to write creatively - either poetry or prose - drop in to browse books, poems, Paisley maps and photographs in the Pop-up Poetry Shop. Be creative. Whatever you write is right!

Opening Night: Radical Renfrewshire

Join us for the opening night of Paisley Book Festival 2020, where we’ll be treated to an exclusive reading from Scottish radicalism expert Maggie Craig, poetry from Renfrewshire born Jim Carruth, and music from Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Heir of the Cursed. We’ll also be sharing what’s in store over the next nine days.

Pop Up Poetry Shop Fairfull Cafe

Paisley has a rich poetic history, from Robert Tannahill to Tom Leonard. If you’d like to write creatively - either poetry or prose - drop in to browse books, poems, Paisley maps and photographs in the Pop-up Poetry Shop. Be creative. Whatever you write is right!

365: Stories and Music

Drop in to experience this very special sound installation of contemporary Scottish stories and music by acclaimed author James Robertson and musician Aidan O’Rourke (of Lau). Bold, tender, full of old truths and distilled modern wit, this is an epic built on the beauty of the miniature. A collaboration between artists steeped in tradition but constantly breaking new ground.

Poets in the Library

Hear from some of Scotland’s foremost radical writers including Sheila Templeton, Linda Jackson, Tracy Patrick, Ross Wilson, Graham Fulton and Brian Whittingham (the Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire). These voices tell much-needed stories of rebellion from the Paisley mills, Kelty mines, Clydeside shipyards and Aberdeen fish-markets.

Create Cafe: Paisley Book Festival Special

Create Cafe is a fun, creative place to express yourself, make friends and try new experiences. In this Paisley Book Fest special, we will showcase young songwriters and poets, and have mini creative writing workshops throughout the evening on themes of Paisley’s heritage and radicalism.

Custom Stories While You Wait

Luke Winter writes stories for strangers on a typewriter, and he'd like to write for you! All he needs is a title or subject, and away his imagination will go, creating a unique story that will be yours to take home. Find Luke at our pop-up space in the Piazza shopping centre.

They Felt the Fear and Did it Anyway

Squeaker the wood mouse doesn't let the overbearing grouse change him into someone he's not. Cameron the capercaillie can't dance but he learns to feel the fear and do it anyway. And Rosie the Crime Squirrel Investigator is determined to discover who ate her nuts. Join author and CBeebies screenwriter Emily Dodd for songs, stories, science and a water squirting squirrel.

Breaking the Mould: Creating Disabled and Low-Income Access to Publishing

Award-winning author Ever Dundas is joined by Stuart White, founder of Write Mentor; Briana Pegado, director of Creative Edinburgh; and Lynsey Rogers, Writing Communities Coordinator at the Scottish Book Trust, in this discussion about diversity in publishing – and what positive changes are being made to open the gates. Chaired by Julie Farrell.

UWS Inspiring Women Lecture with Kirsty Wark

UWS’s Inspiring Women Lecture Series presents Kirsty Wark, one of the nation’s best known presenters and now bestselling author, in conversation with award winning journalist Ruth Wishart. Kirsty will talk about her new novel and share her experiences of political reporting in a career that has spanned some of the UK’s most pivotal moments.

Make Your Own Zine Workshop

Join illustrator and comics artist Maria Stoian for a radical zine workshop, where you’ll make a pocket booklet from scratch. Work with a range of materials to develop your message and explore an issue you care about. Get your thoughts onto paper, make some art, and spread your voice!

John Byrne's Big Birthday Bash

Celebrate the life and work of one of Scotland’s most beloved playwrights and artists – John Byrne. To mark his 80th year, John returns to his native Paisley for a birthday knees up and retrospective of his incredible body of work. Featuring readings from John’s plays, old and new, live music, and probably some cake.

Janice Galloway: Transfiguring the Commonplace

Since the publication of her debut novel The Trick Is To Keep Breathing thirty years ago, Janice Galloway’s lyrical, radical voice has cut through Scottish culture, continually redefining what it means to be Scottish, an artist and a woman. She talks to Kirstin Innes about her life, work, and anything else that takes her fancy.

This Script with Jenny Lindsay

At once a poetic memoir taking in #MeToo, sex, porn, love and ageing in a gendered world, This Script is Jenny Lindsay’s powerful response to many current feminist conflicts, replete with a trademark wit and lyrical dexterity that makes her one of Scotland’s most lauded spoken word poets.

Showcase Sunday

Pop into Paisley Central Library, where a whole day of fun family activities will be taking place, challenging your preconceptions of what goes into a library. Don’t miss our Dip into Digital workshops, Virtual Reality sessions, Bookbug songs and rhymes, and crafts and storytelling abound.

Campfire Club: Rousing Rebels

A fusion of traditional storytelling with role-play and creative writing on the festival theme of Rousing Rebels. Gather around our indoor campfire as we explore stories from around the world, then work together to create brand new stories of our very own! Run by Oak Tree Arts.

Make Comics History

Explore the different ways comics tell stories and then create your own, inspired by Paisley’s history and heritage. Led by Paul Bristow, author of a new graphic novel exploring the Paisley Radicals of 1820, which will also be previewed at this event. Supported by Renfrewshire Council Culture Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF).

Chitra Ramaswamy and Emily Morris: Othering Motherhood

Two very different but equally subversive accounts of pregnancy. Chitra Ramaswamy’s beautiful memoir Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy follows nine months of gestation, the story of a pregnant body and an artist’s mind. My Shitty Twenties is Emily Morris’s honest, caustic, hilarious and poignant look at her accidental pregnancy and single motherhood. Baby-friendly event.

BAME Writing Masterclass with Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla is the author of books including Meatspace, Run, Riot and The Boxer, as well as editor of the critically acclaimed essay collection The Good Immigrant. In this workshop for writers of colour, Nikesh shares his writing tips and leads some exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Designed in partnership with the BAME Scottish Writers Network.

Jenni Fagan, Kirstin Innes & Emma Jane Unsworth: Writing Rebel Women

2020 marks the arrival of three highly-anticipated new books by some of the most exciting young writers around – Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan, Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth and Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes. Here they discuss the politics of writing rebellious, non-conformist female protagonists.