Literary festival HeadRead, in its sixth year, kicks off in Tallinn in earnest today, with foreign authors and local talents on the menu.
After an advance reading by William Boyd on Sunday, the main program of the festival begins today with poetry cafes around the capital and finishes on Sunday at the bohemian Uus Maailm neigborhood.
Foreign guests include novelists Lionel Shriver, A.S. Byatt, and John Banville, Nigerian novelist and poet Ben Okri (who will also give two concerts), Scottish poet John Burnside, Danish crime author Jakob Vedelsby, and Estonia’s literary neighbors like Riikka Ala-Harja (Finland), Undinė Radzevičiūtė (Lithuania), and Kristīne Želve (Latvia). The US is represented with three authors: storyteller Dovie Thomason, former war correspondent Jon Steele and beat poet Ron Whitehead. Jason Goodwin will also host a crime fiction workshop in English.
Renowned historians Antony Beevor and Catherine Merridale will also give talks.
There will also be screenings of films made after novels by Lionel Shriver and A. S. Byatt respectively, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Possession at the cinema Sõprus.
The Estonian program includes discussions on travel literature, heritage, history in Estonian drama, children’s mornings at the Estonian Children’s Literature Center and Poetry Slam at the Erinevate Tubade Klubi.
The full program and schedule is available on the festival’s website.