Presented by the National Centre for Writing and Norfolk & Norwich Festival

You might have seen it on the ‘Welcome to Norwich’ sign a thousand times, but did you know that Norwich is a UNESCO City of Literature, known around the world for its storytelling and writing culture?

2022 marks ten years since Norwich became part of the global network of world-class creative cities. So what better time is there to celebrate the stories and creativity that make Norwich and Norfolk an inspiring place to write, think and dream?

In this year’s City of Literature weekend, you can discover exciting stories in person around the streets, gardens and historic buildings of Norwich. There are plenty of ways for you to get involved and bring your stories to life, and we’ve got amazing authors coming to share their brilliant books, too.

However you want to celebrate, we hope you’ll join in and help us explore, imagine, read and write the many stories that keep the creative heart of this city beating.

— Flo Reynolds, Programme Manager, National Centre for Writing

Download a PDF of the Festival brochure →

© VisitNorwich

Wandering Words

A Walking Tour of Norwich UNESCO City of Literature

Friday 13–Sunday 29 May

Discover Norwich of the past, present and future through newly commissioned poems from five brilliant writers with ties to the city: Andy Bennett, Hannah Levene, Victoria Adukwei-Bulley, Piers Harrison-Reid and Jessica Streeting. Experience Norwich with fresh eyes, encountering the people and locations that inspired each writers’ work. Featuring print and audio installations across the city centre.

This literary walk has been created to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Norwich becoming England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. National Centre for Writing has commissioned five writers with a connection to the city to respond creatively to a particular place in Norwich or to an event in its history. These new works represent the breadth of new writing happening in, around and inspired by the city.

Pick up a free map from the Festival Box Office and the Plantation Garden.

Explore Wandering Words online

Download a PDF map

Special performances with pop-up readings

These limited capacity guided walking tours will feature special performances from participating writers.

Friday 27 May, 2pm →

Saturday 28 May, 3pm →

Sunday 29 May, 3pm →

Tickets £5. Booking essential. Arrival instructions to follow once booked.

Deception Island

Wednesday 25 – Saturday 28 May, on the hour every hour between 12noon – 9pm, Chapelfield Gardens

Step inside an exact replica of an Antarctic hut and be transported to Deception Island, a tiny caldera in the Antarctic Ocean, battered by the fiercest seas in the world and shaken by volcanic activity. Here the rusting remains of industrial whaling and a seabed littered with whalebones testify to mankind’s greed and brutality. But the island is also an outpost of scientific exploration, a witness to human attentiveness and fortitude.

Deception Island summons a remote frontier where climate and months of winter darkness impose a kind of perpetual lockdown. As the ship carrying the author’s father edges through the basalt cliffs into the calmer waters of Deception Island, the island’s many voices, human and non-human, begin to speak.

Prepare to embark on an immersive poetry, sound and film expedition like nothing you have been on before.

Presented by Story Machine in collaboration with Elizabeth Lewis Williams. Funded by Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants.  

Book now

Workout!

Lewis Buxton

Monday 16 May, 7.30pm, Norwich Arts Centre

Workout! is a poetry-theatre show about exercise and anxiety. Funny, inventive and heart wrenching, Lewis Buxton tells the story of a life through obsessions and exercise routines – a story drenched in the sweat on t-shirts, a poem that weighs as heavy as dumbbells. From sit ups in his bedroom to being hungover in changing rooms and trying to find calm through Yoga With Adriene, Buxton brings an audience into his confidence, undresses his anxieties, and works through them; finding the questions, despair and joy in exercise.

Co-commissioned by National Centre for Writing, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Norwich Arts Centre. Supported by the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund through Arts Council England.

Book now

City of Literature weekend

Friday 27 – Sunday 29 May

Start your summer celebrations with our jam-packed literature festival in a weekend! Spanning the Festival Gardens in Chapelfield, the beautiful Plantation Gardens, and the historic Dragon Hall (home to the National Centre for Writing), our programme of interactive events, book launches, creative workshops and late night parties are must-have experiences for readers, writers, thinkers and change-makers in the city.

Offer: book for 3 or more events on Saturday and get 10% off!

Friday 27 May

Saturday 28 May

Sunday 29 May

Girl smilingSupport us

As a UK registered charity, the National Centre for Writing relies on the generosity of our supporters to make our work possible. Please consider making a donation today to ensure that the writers of tomorrow get the support they need to thrive and tell their story, whatever their background.

Make a donation

Header image (c) Joanna Millington