Book Competitions
Talks & Ideas

#BIAF20 Talks & Ideas strand is available to enjoy at your leisure on BIAF YouTube channel.

View on BIAF YouTube Channel

Tune in to the series of online discussions with the authors behind the very best and latest fiction and non-fiction works. Events (in order of original broadcast date):

  1. No Word for Stay – Poetry Jukebox
    Join Centre Culturel Irlandais and Quotidian – Word on the Street for a dynamic in-depth discussion about Northern Ireland, its poets and the lived-experience of the Troubles.
    The panel discussion is chaired by Professor of Irish Poetry at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, Clíona Ní Ríordáin. Joining her are poets Moyra Donaldson, Gail McConnell and Paul Muldoon to discuss the contribution of Northern Irish poetry and poets in articulating our painful, complex, and compelling history, its resonance in the present and its implications for our future.
  2. Stuart Maconie – The Nanny State Made Me
    Veteran broadcaster Stuart Maconie discusses his new book The Nanny State Made Me: A Story of Britain and How to Save It, in which he tells the story of Britain’s welfare state through his own history of growing up as a northern working class boy.
  3. Kevin Maxwell and Nazir Afzal – Law, Race and Equality
    In this discussion about law, race, prejudice and equality with Kevin Maxwell, a former police detective discusses his book Forced Out: A Black Gay Detective’s Story of Prejudice and Resilience, which offers a powerful and sobering look inside the British police force. Nazir Afzal, ex-Chief Crown Prosecutor, will discuss his book The Prosecutor: One Man’s Pursuit of Justice for the Voiceless, in which shows us how his childhood in 1960s Birmingham facing racist violence set him on the path to his groundbreaking career at the forefront of the British justice system.
  4. Patrick Freyne – OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea
    One of Ireland’s funniest writers, Patrick Freyne, will give us the benefit of his wit and wisdom in his new book of essays, OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea.
  5. Helen Lewis – Difficult Women
    Well-behaved women don’t make history, difficult women do. Writer Helen Lewis explores how feminism’s success has been down to complicated, contradictory, imperfect women in her book Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights.
  6. Elaine Feeney and Daisy Johnson
    Two of our finest fiction writers come together to tell us about their acclaimed new novels, each one shocking, vital and explosive. Author Elaine Feeney will discuss her debut novel As You Were, while Daisy Johnson, fresh from the success of her Booker-shortlisted debut Everything Under will discuss her second novel Sisters.
  7. Jenni Murray – Fat Cow, Fat Chance
    One of the nation’s best-loved broadcasters joins the festival to discuss her new book about our relationship with food and weight.
  8. Robert Webb – Come Again
    Writer, actor and comedian Robert Webb will discuss his debut novel, Come Again, his writing and acting work, how he now sees writing as his main job, and his near-death experience that chimed eerily with the book.
  9. Colette Bryce and Nick Laird
    Two of Northern Ireland’s finest poets join host Peggy Hughes to read from and discuss their latest collections, Colette Bryce’s The M Pages and Nick Laird’s Feel Free.
  10. Lennie Goodings – A Bite of the Apple
    Chair of groundbreaking feminist publisher Virago Books, Lennie Goodings, who has worked with many of the finest writers of the last half-century, including Angela Carter, Maya Angelou, Marilynne Robinson and Margaret Atwood, will offer an entertaining and enlightening insight into the life of a literary editor.
  11. Bryan Washington and Paul Mendez
    Two debut writers join forces to discuss race and sexuality from different cultural perspectives in Bryan Washington’s Lot and Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.
  12. Sebastian Barry and Sarah Moss
    Festival favourite Sebastian Barry joins multi-award-winning novelist Sarah Moss at an event hosted by Rebecca Mairs discussing their highly anticipated new fiction, A Thousand Moons and Summerwater.
  13. Scholastique Mukasonga and Nina Bouraoui
    Two of France’s greatest living writers talk about their work and inspiration in this event in association with the Institut Français. Scholastique Mukasonga’s new book Igifu (“Hunger”) is a memoir in stories about the effects of trauma on tradition, communities and individuals. Nina Bouraoui’s All Men Want to Know is an international bestseller and the first of her 17 books to be published in the UK or Ireland.
  14. Jenny Offill – Weather
    Donald Trump and the climate crisis are the twin emergencies driving the funny, fierce and universally acclaimed new novel Weather by Jenny Offill, one of America’s most highly regarded writers.
  15. Sarah Churchwell & Michell Chresfield – US Pre-election Discussion
    Two British-American experts on US history, civil rights and politics come together to discuss what brought us to the 2020 US election – and where we go from here. Sarah Churchwell’s Behold, America explores white nationalism in America, including the racist history of Donald Trump’s phrase ‘America First’.

Books, including a limited number of signed copies, are available from No Alibis Bookstore.

If you would like to make a donation to Belfast International Arts Festival, you can do so at our People’s Fundraising page.