John Hegley premiers at Big Lit Book Festival

John Hegley, the  People's Potato',  headlines  Big Lit: The Stewartry Book Festival 2017.
John Hegley, the People's Potato', headlines Big Lit: The Stewartry Book Festival 2017.

Excitement mounts in Gatehouse of Fleet as it prepares for the seventh year of BIG LIT.

What began as a modest festival-in-a-day is now a mighty four-day festival of wall to wall events, featuring literature in all its cunning guises.

Running from April 20-23, The Stewarty Book Festival is now a firm event in the literary calendar.

This year it headlines the self-styled ‘People’s Potato’, inimitable poet comedian, John Hegley with his show, Peace Love and Potatoes. The show has toured extensively in England but has its Scottish premier with this trip to the Dumfries region.

In a sequence of songs, poems and daftness Hegley expounds on an eclectic melange of subjects, including letters, drawings and dances, with trains, a family of daleks, John Keats, Joan of Arc, trucks, boats and a ship. And chips!

“You’re absolutely guaranteed a good time says Chrys Salt MBE, convener of The Festival, ‘John’s work is funny, moving, thoroughly eccentric, thought-provoking - and always original. We expect a full house for this one!”

John will also entertain children from three primary schools in the region with his unique approach to poetry, dance and song, his poetic genius and silliness – with vegetables - in his brilliant interactive show for children, “Animal Alphaboat”.

John appears on the morning and afternoon of Thursday, April 20, but BIG LIT has lots of other treats in store in the following three days – a writers workshop with award-winning novelist Karen Campbell, charismatic broadcaster and performer Billy Kay exploring the Scottish Diaspora and its influence on wine.

There’s music (ancient and modern), Samuel Beckett, poetry, prose, biography, Virginia Woolf, history, installation, exhibition, Leonard Cohen, a gory literary murder to solve at Cream o’Galloway, talent both local and national, alive and dead - not to mention a timely Scottish PEN event featuring exiled Bafta award winning Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein who has found refuge from torture in Scotland.

Full programme and tickets available at or at Franca Bruno’s shop in Gatehouse of Fleet, 07803 228497.