Wakefield Literature Festival will go back to basics on its return to the city

Louis Kasatkin.
Louis Kasatkin.

The organiser of this year’s Wakefield literature festival says he is going back to basics and predicts the event will “fly”.

After last year’s was cancelled, freelance writer Louis Kasatkin has taken the reins and promised to organise 2019’s on a shoestring.

The Wakefield resident has been vocal in his criticism of how the festival was handled over the years, saying its reliance on highly-paid literary stars to attract the crowds led to its downfall.

He says local talent was often overlooked and so is determined to put them back in the spotlight for the upcoming event, which has been named Wakey Lit 19, and kicks off next week.

Mr Kasatkin, who co-founded the city’s Destiny Poets group, said: “There’s a massive desire and hunger among creative people in the ares for this.

“There’s no admin or ticket sales to organise and I haven’t had to go knocking on people’s doors - they have come to me.

“The venues have been brilliant and receptive, it will be a no cost, no loss situation.

“It’s going to fly, that’s a certainty. It’s a modest attempt with modest aims that has been conjured out of nothing.

“It was always going to be micro event, and my view is that it can’t fail.”

First held in 2012 and backed by Arts Council England, Wakefield Lit Fest saw a series of events held across two weekends at venues around the city, and attracted famous poets, writers, musicians and artists including John Hegley, Roger McGough and Ian Clayton.

This year’s timetable will run from Monday 16 until Saturday 21 September with events each day and evening.

LINE UP

Monday Sep 16: 12-1.30pm Wakefield Library - Destiny Poets poetry Workshop and Q&A. 7-9pm The Black Horse - Open Mic Stories,Songs and Spoken Word.

TUESDAY Sep 17: 2-3.30pm Mocca Moocho - Dale Brendan Hyde, Neil White and Barbara Phipps Writers’ Showcase No 1. 7-9 pm The Black Horse- Open Mic

WED Sep 18: 2-3.30pm Mocca Moocho - Sue Featherstone, Barbara Phipps and Stephen Place for Writers’ Showcase No 2. 7-9 pm The Hop Wakefield - Open Mic

THURSDAY Sep 19: 2-3.30pm Mocca Moocho - Dale Brendan Hyde, William Anderson Gaskill and Lindsey Marie Holmes for Writers’ Showcase No.3 7-9pm - Hop Wakefield Open Mic

FRIDAY Sep 20: 2-3.30pm Mocca Moocho Wakefield - Joanne Brandon + Louis Kasatkin Writers’ Showcase No.4 (Readings,Publication Advice + Q&A) 7-9pm - The Polka Hop -Open Mic

SATURDAY 21st:2 3:30pm Wakefield Library - Sue Featherstone & Susan Pape+ Destiny Poets - Showcase Special 7-8pm - Venue - Destiny Church,Parklands,WF1 4AF The #WakeyLit19 CABARET