Tickets are now on sale for the Ilkley Literature Festival, which runs 7- 23 October 2022.
The ‘Bard of Barnsley’ Ian McMillan will open the 2022 festival on Friday 7 October.
Ian will talk on his new book, My Sand Life, My Pebble Life: A memoir of a childhood and the sea at the festival.

In writing peppered with poetry, My Sand Life, My Pebble Life takes readers to sunny days on the beach, legendary games of cricket, thermoses of tea, crumbly cake and tiny caravans.

A poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster, Ian has been a castaway on Desert Island Discs, poet in residence for The Academy of Urbanism, Barnsley FC & Lockdown Poet and resident poet at English National Opera. He presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and has appeared on Coast, BBC Breakfast, Pick of the Week and Last Word.

Running for almost half a century, the festival has a long history with poets, and provides a platform for emerging, new poets, who are often stars of the future.

Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Maya Angelou have appeared at the festival over the years, and the first festival in 1973 was inaugurated by WH Auden.

Each year, the festival hosts a Poet in Residence; 2022 sees Kayo Chingonyi in the role. A winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize, Kayo will produce a commissioned piece for the festival as well as curating a poetry showcase and delivering a writing workshop. He’ll also mentor the 2022 Apprentice Poets in Residence, Rebecca Green and Sarah-Clare Conlon.

The Poets in Residence will judge the annual Walter Swan Poetry Prize. The winners will be announced online for National Poetry Day on 6 October.

Other featured poets include Twitter’s unofficial Poet Laureate Brian Bilston, stunning northern talents Kim Moore and Amanda Dalton, and the four poets on Bloomsbury’s first ever poetry list – Anthony Joseph, Valzhyna Mort, Selina Nwulu and Polarbear. Ian’s son, the poet Andrew McMillan, will discuss his new anthology of 100 Queer Poems.

Visitors to Ilkley can discover nature and poems any time of the year, with the Stanza Stones Poetry Trail between Marsden and Ilkley, featuring poems by Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.

Erica Morris, Ilkley Literature Festival Director, said: “Poetry has always been a vital component of the festival. It is an incredible vehicle with which to express and explore empathy, compassion and what it is to be human. We are proud of our reputation for attracting internationally renowned poets as well as providing a platform for new northern voices.”

To book and view the full line up: