You have javascript disabled in your browser. We recommend turning it on for a better experience on this site.

New partnership with Ilkley Literature Festival

New partnership with Ilkley Literature Festival

The University has announced a new partnership with the North's oldest and largest literature festival.

As well as becoming Higher Education Partner for Ilkley Literature Festival (28 September - 14 October 2018), the University is principal partner for its off-shoot Words in the City poetry and spoken word festival, which for the first time takes place in Leeds this year (10-13 May 2018).

To mark the new partnership, the University’s Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage will be giving a free reading of his work at Words in the City on Friday 11 May.

There will also be a chance to explore the University’s extensive archive of poetry recordings – including readings by Tony Harrison, Malika Booker and Vahni Capildeo – at the Poetry Sound Lounge at Carriageworks Theatre on Saturday 11 May.

Later in the year, University of Leeds academics will be showcasing their work at Ilkley Literature Festival and students across all disciplines will be able to take advantage of new opportunities to volunteer at the Festival or even stage their own events.

This new partnership will provide exciting opportunities for our audiences to connect with University staff and students in new ways.

Rachel Feldberg, Festival Director

Rachel Feldberg, Festival Director, said: “We are very proud to be working with the University of Leeds on both Words in the City and the main festival. This new partnership will provide exciting opportunities for our audiences to connect with University staff and students in new ways. 

“The series of events we had with University of Leeds academics last year were very popular, and we are really looking forward to continuing to grow this strand of our programme.”

Professor Frank Finlay, Director of the University’s Cultural Institute and Executive Dean of its Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, said: “For many years, staff and students from the University have enjoyed attending – and participating in – fantastic events organised by the festival team.

“We’re really pleased to herald a new era of collaboration, as part of this more formal arrangement of support. It’s a perfect fit with the Cultural Institute’s key aims of widening engagement and increasing partnerships across the region, as well as building the skills of our students.”

Professor Finlay added that the School of English will be offering a new programme of creative writing for students from the autumn.

Ilkley Literature Festival's Words in the City event

The full Words in the City programme and information on how to book tickets for events, including Simon Armitage's appearance, can be found at

Further information

For further details, contact Gareth Dant, University of Leeds Media Relations Manager, via or +44(0)113 3433996; or Alex Corwin, Head of Marketing, Ilkley Literature Festival, via

Ilkley Literature Festival is nationally acknowledged for its artistic excellence and diverse programming. The Festival attracts audiences of more than 25,000, over 17 days each October, alongside a year-round programme of workshops, projects and author events in schools. 

The Festival aims to bring literature and poetry of national and international significance to the widest possible audience and to showcase new work by emerging and mid-career writers. It has an enviable reputation for bringing high profile authors to Ilkley from across the world, for its work with young people and as one of the UK’s most culturally diverse literature festivals.

Ilkley Literature Festival is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. @ilkleylitfest  #ilf18

Back to the top