Festival appearance by popular poet Pam

POET Pam Ayres, who has been making the nation laugh for almost 50 years, is to appear at the Wells Festival of Literature this autumn.

Her event, called a Festival of Poetry, takes place on Saturday, October 19 – the first weekend of the festival – when her talk will include highlights from her 2021 book Pam Ayres on Animals, and from her latest one Who Are You Calling Vermin? due to be published next year.

Pam, said to be the best-selling poet after Ted Hughes since records began, has appeared widely on TV and radio and she has also been a guest on Desert Island Discs twice.

Philosopher AC Grayling appears earlier the same day with a talk on Who Owns the Moon? – the title of his new book which explores the history of the places that no one, and therefore everyone, owns.

While the Earth’s natural resources dwindle and the superpowers eye the moon’s natural wealth, he argues for a bold new consensus which defends the rights of everyone who lives on this planet.

Later that evening John O’Farrell brings humour in his political satire Family Politics. When Dylan Hughes moves back home after graduating from university he shocks his high-profile left-wing parents by announcing that he is a Conservative. The sparks fly in this antidote to our divided times.

The following afternoon the Book Group event can look forward to hearing Cecile Pin when she talks about her novel Wandering Souls, an account of a family fleeing Vietnam in a bid for a new life. Her book was shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Prize of 2023.

Plenty more names are yet to be announced for Wells Festival of Literature which runs from October 18-26.

Proceeds go towards its year-long educational work in local schools.

Booking opens at the end of July for Friends and sponsors, with general booking opening in early August. For more details visit www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk