And the winner is…

Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Many congratulations to them. It’s the first time the title has gone to sub-Saharan Africa and it’s a splendid achievement. Eleven cities put in bids for the 2014 title, compared with three for the 2004 title ten years ago. Whichever way you look at it, books and reading, and UNESCO’s promotion … Continue reading


Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben; Und aller-mümsige Burggoven Die mohmen Räth’ ausgraben. Even if you can’t speak German I bet you can tell what that is a translation of. And if you’re still struggling the wonderfully Germanic ‘Banderschnätzchen’ in the next verse should give it away.  It is of … Continue reading

Imagination unbound

‘Unbound’ has all sorts of nuances and  can lead the imagination off in all sorts of directions – which is of course partly why we put it into our theme for the year! Our fourth strand looks at taking the book out of its pages and putting it into other media – plays, films, exhibitions, … Continue reading

Christ Church

Well, that’s it; after ten days of world-class speakers, Michelin-starred banquets and endless exciting literary debuts to mark the start of summer, the Oxford Literary Festival has finally closed its doors for another year. Some of the city’s most famous landmarks played host to over 300 authors and public figures, with most days blessed with … Continue reading

Celebrating Author ‘Days’

Blackwell’s blog, Broad Conversation, recently published a piece challenging readers to consider which authors should have their own days. The Blackwell’s Twitter feed got a few suggestions: Spike Milligan, Dan Holloway, Murukami, John Keats. Of course, there are already some author celebrations in existence. As Blackwell’s pointed out, there’s ‘Alice’s Day on 4th July, November 12th is Carl … Continue reading

Curiouser and Curiouser!

Alice’s Day 2011 was a great success across all of Oxford. White rabbits, tea parties, fancy dress, crafts and so many children! Here’s a selection of photos from the day:       What were your experiences of the day?    

Which way from here?

  Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?   The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to   Alice: I don’t much care where.   The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.   Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.   The Cat: Oh, … Continue reading

Jan Švankmajer and the Magic of Film

I had the immense pleasure of attending a film screening last night of ‘Alice‘ by Jan Švankmajer in the sparse basement of Modern Art Oxford. To be honest, I had never heard of this director/artist before, but I’ve been waiting all night to be able to wake up and share him with you. Švankmajer is … Continue reading

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