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Durham Book Festival 2023 logo

The Programme for this year's annual Durham Book Festival has been announced. The festival offers 35 events with more than 40 authors, over a bustling long weekend, from Friday 13 - Sunday 15 October.

Each year we work in partnership with Durham Book Festival to invite an acclaimed poet to become the Festival Laureate. As well as presenting a newly commissioned poem at the festival, the laureate takes part in a special event for our  students.

This year’s Durham University Festival Laureate, is the award-winning poet Zaffar Kunial. He is the author of Us (2018), which was shortlisted for both the Costa Poetry Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry. His new collection of poetry, England’s Green, was published by Faber in September 2022.

As part of his laureateship, Zaffar will read from his work, as well as present a newly commissioned poem inspired by Durham at the festival.

Festival events will take place at venues across the city centre, including Gala Durham, Clayport Library and Collected Books.  All Gala Durham events will be live-streamed and live-captioned and available to watch online until 31 October.

Professor Janet Stewart, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, said:  “As an institution of learning, it is a pleasure to welcome the wealth of talent and creativity that the Festival brings to our city. This talent and creativity enriches both the work of the university and the local community.”

Find out more:

  • Visit Durham Book Festival website for full information and booking