Gladfest 2021

Gladfest 2021 was our first hybrid event, catering for a small, Covid-cautious in-person audience and several hundred online guests.

Limited by the Pandemic conditions, this festival was a fraction of the size it normally is, but it was packed to the seams with stimulating and thought-provoking talks. 

We welcomed back some of our favourite returning writers, including Sarah Perry (author of the Essex Serpent), Natasha Pulley (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, The Kingdoms), Sally Magnusson (The Ninth Child) and Francis Spufford (Light Perpetual, longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize).

They were joined by newcomers Katie Hale (My Name is Monster) and Ian Bradley, who read from and spoke about his extraordinary collection of reading on death and heaven from different religious traditions (The Quiet Haven).

Our very own Peter Francis, Warden of the Library, spoke about his memoir, The Widening Circle of Us, which is available through Chester University Press.

All talks were livestreamed from our beautiful chapel space. This was not your typical Zoom conference.

In addition, attendees had first access to the premier of a film featuring esteemed author and speaker Richard Holloway and a beautiful, ambient audio piece by nature writer and novelist Melissa Harrison, as well as listening in to a panel which featured Zia Chaudhury (Just Your Average Muslim), Sophie McKeand (Rebel Sun) and Julia Forster (What a Way to Go). 

You can find out more about talks, tickets and times by following this link. Films of the talks will be made available through Digital Gladstone, with is accessible to Friends of Gladstone's Library

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting this event.