There’s an old saying that if March comes in roaring like a lion, it will go out quietly like a lamb.
Not so here at Four Culture where the month has seen us roaring on all sorts of exciting projects, but with no sign of a let-up as we rush towards the Easter weekend and April.
We've been working on a rich variety of stories this month, around the UK and in Europe too. First of all we were delighted to be appointed by Leeuwarden-Friesland, which is the 2018 European Capital of Culture, to promote its fantastic programme to British cultural audiences. Learn more here.
Another important cultural landmark in 2018 is the 250th anniversary of the first ever circus performance in the UK. In celebration of that, we’ve been working with the New Vic Theatre, in Newcastle under Lyme, on a range of circus-related performances. Read more here.
The Man Booker International Prize, an award for the best in translated fiction from across the globe and published in the UK, continues to build in stature year on year. The announcement of the 2018 longlisted writers and their translators - one pair of whom will go on to share the £50,000 prize purse equally between them - was covered by the media in an astonishing 25 countries across five continents. Find out more here.
Still on writers and their books, we are pleased to be continuing to work with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-First, one of the world’s leading gender diversity consultancies, on profile raising and speaking opportunities. Read the story here.
I mentioned James MacManus and his latest novel, Ike and Kay, in my post for February. Never a man to miss a party, James threw his own to launch the book at Daunts in Marylebone High Street earlier in the month. It was everything a launch party should be, apart from James describing me as ‘formidably elegant’ - or was it ‘elegantly formidable’?! And now the reviews are rolling in both here and in Ireland where Kay Summersby hailed from. I’d highly recommend it as a thoroughly good read. Read more here.
The London Book Fair, one of the two most significant international book trade fairs in the world, will be taking place from 10 April this year. We’ll be focusing there on Pan Macmillan, UK Publisher of the Year and long term client, as they celebrate their 175th anniversary… there's more about that in a separate piece. Learn more here.
English PEN, the literary charity which defends everyone’s freedom to write and everyone’s freedom to read, has for many years been Four Colman Getty’s official charity. One of our most enjoyable projects with English PEN last month was heading up to the Union Chapel to hear an amazing line-up of stand-ups taking part in the You (Still) Can’t Say That! Big PEN Comedy Gig. Read more about the evening here.
Finally, I know you will all be longing to know how Nisha and I are getting on with our Man Booker 50 Reading Challenge. Nisha is diligently reading her way through the list of 51 books year by year; I’m being rather less organised, dipping in and out and currently absorbed in the 1984 winner, Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac.
What’s so interesting, with 10 books under my belt and 41 still to go, is the realisation that there really is no such thing as a ‘(Man) Booker winner’. The sheer variety and range of previous winners is astonishing. It’s going to be a real challenge to pin down our eventual Golden Man Booker winner.
That’s all for now. Still roaring and more next month!