The Humber Mouth - Hull Literature Festival 2000 - Thursday 9th November - Sunday 19th November 2000
Critical Eye

Critical Eye
Maggie Hannan is the festival's resident web site critic. She will preview and review festival events, special commissions and festival publications.

Even before her appearance of her first collection Liar, Jones (Bloodaxe, 1995) Maggie Hannan had achieved wide recognition for her work. She won a Gregory Award in 1990. She has been Internet Writer in Residence at the University of Northumbria, edited books for Virago Press and written for BBC Radio. She currently works at Page One Books in Hull, organises the festival bookstall and is involved in the MindReader project, a collection of writing by the service users of Hull Mind to be launched on Nov 16th.

Critical EyeE-mail: [email protected]
Look for the Critical Eye as Festival events are reviewed.

Maggie Hannan
Maggie Hannan

Sunday 19th November Event Review  
Read the Review... John Doe - A Story of the Blues
Humber Mouth Special Commission

Saturday 18th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Leap Dance/'Trace'
Wyke Sixth Form College

Saturday 18th November - 10.00pm Event Review  
Read the Review... 24 Hours in Scunthorpe Matthew Hogg & Matt Stephenson
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street

Saturday 18th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Carol Ann Duffy & Jackie Kay
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street

Friday 17th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Berkoff's Women
Linda Marlowe

Thursday 16th November Review by Brian Iles  
Read the Review... MindReader
Special Commission Publication

Thursday 16th November - 8.00pm Event Review  
Read the Review... Louis de Bernieres
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street

Thursday 16th November - 1.00pm Preview - Book Launch  
Read the Review... Art, Survival & So Forth Jules Smith
Waterstone's, Jameson Street.

Wednesday 15th November & Thursday 16th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Tom Robinson / Songwriter Sessions
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street.

Tuesday 14th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Garry Schofield
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street.

Monday 13th November Event Review  
Read the Review... Germaine Greer
Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street.

Sunday 12th November Humber Mouth News #2  

Punters turning out for the Classic Poems event with Ian Parks at Waterstones were disappointed to find the doors locked and the event cancelled. Having failed to sell any tickets in advance, apparently Waterstones organizer Pete Knaggs decided not to go ahead with the reading. Had he decided to attend the Sylvia Plath talk by Gerard Benson instead of going home, he would have met his audience, several of whom ended up here, not wanting to waste the time and money they'd spent finding a parking space.


In the middle of his talk on Plath, Gerard Benson became convinced he could hear a dog barking. Speculating that it 'probably has no one to look after it' he wandered out of the room, leaving the audience bewildered - and with no one to look after them. The sound he could hear was actually coming from Hull Screen. Library staff made the wise decision to close the doors, thankfully after Benson had been retrieved.

Ticket Prices

Someone commented that if they went to all the events they'd like to, it would cost them over 100 pounds. With most of the major events costing the best part of a tenner, I do wonder whether many people are excluded because of the expense. Add to that the popularity of the free events and you have to conclude that some kind of compromise is needed.

Saturday 11th November - 7.30pm Film Preview  
Read the Review... Simon Armitage/The Tyre
Hull Screen, Central Library

Thursday 9th November - 8.00pm Event Review  
Read the Review... Urban Eyes Credo Arts Community
Ferens Art Gallery

Wednesday 8th November - 8.00pm Event Review  
Read the Review... 'Sylvia Plath, The Mirror' with Gerard Benson
Hull Central Library

Wednesday 8th November 2000 Humber Mouth News #1  

*Is The Humber Mouth a women's festival?

According to Tony Greenway, writing in this month's Yorkshire Artscene, it is. Confusing this, because the majority of events are by male writers or are without discernable gender bias. Greenway seems particularly upset over the appearance of Germaine Greer and has clearly taken the trouble of demanding a justification from Paul Holloway, one of the festival's organizers. Not content with misquoting Holloway, Greenway seems determined throughout the article to perceive 'gender' as something which only those who aren't heterosexual men have. In a commendable moment of journalistic accuracy, Greenway describes himself as a 'simple soul' but goes on to write 'Tch. Women eh. Can't live with 'em, can't theme a literature festival around 'em'. It doesn't surprise me to learn that Greenway lives alone.

*Media Watch

The Humber Mouth attracted the attention of the national press last weekend, with both The Independent and The Guardian newspapers choosing to feature the festival in their entertainment guides. The Independent praised the fact that the festival 'brings together some of the best in contemporary poetry' and notes the appearance of Germaine Greer, Louis de Bernieres, and Gary Schofield. They also pick up on one of the Special Commissions, 'Taxi Tales' with Daphne Glazer. The Guardian, drawing attention to the relaunch of the festival, described it as 'growing in stature' and comments on the expanded programme of dance, drama and music.

*Acts of God

Or Railtrack. The combination of bad weather and disrupted train timetables has caused some anxiety. Anyone wishing to confirm that writers and performers have arrived should contact the venue as close to the time of the event as possible.

*More Media

Hull Daily Mail printed an extraordinary piece last week about the Root Festival. Questioning the value of funding the festival, journalist Steve Regan went on to attempt to define art, stating that it is, among other things, 'walking up Princes Dock Street in Hull, well bevvied, with your arm around your girlfriend, or boyfriend, or your pals, feeling that such happiness will last forever.' While I'm glad to note that Regan is more open to less conventional relationships than Tony Greenway of Yorkshire Artscene (see above), I really do doubt whether the Lottery and other funding bodies would want to fund him in these unusual 'arts' ventures. Personally, I'll stick with Root.

[email protected]

Wednesday 1st November - 8.00pm Event Review  
Read the Review... East Meets West
Lisa Glatt, David Hernandez, Greta Stoddart, Ian Parks
Sailmaker's Arms Pub, High Street.