Top authors to shine in APA’s new Culture Café series

Top authors to shine in APA’s new Culture Café series

Three world-class authors will share their stories for the latest lunchtime events in Aberdeen Performing Arts’ (APA) Culture Café series.

The new season features award-winning novelist, poet and professor of creative writing John Burnside, internationally-renowned author Louis de Bernieres and crime writing superstar and BBC broadcaster Val McDermid.

The Culture Café sessions will take place at Belmont Filmhouse as part of the Music Hall’s Stepping Out programme of events.

“We’ve struck gold with three extraordinary writing talents for our upcoming Culture Café lineup,” said APA’s director of programming and creative projects, Ben Torrie.

“This is a chance to meet internationally renowned authors in a relaxed, intimate setting, and we are delighted Belmont Filmhouse is welcoming them while the Music Hall undergoes redevelopment. All three are award-winning masters of the written and spoken word and I’m sure they will captivate audiences.”

Chaired by former Aberdeen University Professor of Creative Writing and WORD festival director Alan Spence, on Wednesday, May 4, John Burnside will talk about his work, which includes award-winning volumes of poetry, fiction and memoir. John is one of only two poets to ever win the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize with the same book. He has also taken home the Whitbread Book Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. As well as writing his own material, he is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. His most recent publications are the poetry collection Black Cat Bone, a book of stories, Something Like Happy, and a second volume of autobiography Waking Up in Toytown.

Louis de Bernieres, who received an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen, drew huge audiences with his readings at the WORD festival. The author of the internationally recognised bestselling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, will be back in the city on Wednesday, September 7. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best novel, and was also adapted as a film starring Nicolas Cage. The author has published seven other novels, including Birds Without Wings, and most recently The Dust that Falls from Dreams, as well as a collection of short stories, and his second volume of poetry, Of Love and Desire, was published this year.

Val McDermid, whose Culture Café session will take place on Thursday, November 9, is a must-see for fans of her crime novels, which are so popular they have been translated into 30 languages and sold more than 10 million copies across the world.  Her work was adapted for the highly successful television drama Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green.The Kirkcaldy-born writer holds the Portico Prize for Fiction, the LA Times Book Prize, and the Cartier Diamond Dagger among her many awards. She has published 27 novels, the most recent being Splinter the Silence. She has also published short stories, non-fiction and children’s books. She is a regular broadcaster on BBC radio.

Lunch is available from 12.30pm in the café at Belmont Filmhouse, and Meal Deal tickets are available. The talks begin at 1.30pm, and tickets for all three events are available online at, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at The Lemon Tree and His Majesty's Theatre.

Posted on Friday 15 April

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