Four Weeks until Festival Lift-Off

Gillian Clarke banner - replacement

Dear Festival Friends

In a little over 4 weeks, Stroud Book Festival 2023 will get under way. Our first event is “Love is Strange” – the 26th event from the brilliant Stroud Short Stories, on Sunday 5thNovember. Tickets go on sale on Friday 13th October from the Cotswold Playhouse website but you’ll need to be quick as they always sell out fast:

Three days later, on Wednesday 8th November comes the first event at our main Festival hub – Stroud Sub Rooms. Tom Kerridge will be discussing his new book, “Pub Kitchen”, his television series, his food poverty campaigning and more.

The following four days bring a feast of more than 30 events celebrating stories, ideas and community for readers of all ages.

You can browse all our Festival events via our printed brochure (pick one up if you haven’t already from the Sub Rooms, Stroud Bookshop, Stroud Library and other local venues), or the digital brochure on our website at

Purchase your tickets online from the Sub Rooms here. You can also book by calling 01453 796880, or in-person at the box office at the Sub Rooms (Tuesday-Saturday, 9-4pm).


Stroud Book Festival Guest Poet 2023: Gillian Clarke

Sunday 12th November, 2.30-3.30pm at Sub Rooms

Stroud Book Festival would not be complete without poetry, and for our 2023 guest poet, we are delighted to welcome Gillian Clarke, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and a former National Poet of Wales.

She’ll be reading a selection from her wonderfully lyrical body of work and discuss her inspirations in conversation with Stroud poet, Adam Horovitz. 


Grand Old Oak and the Birthday Ball with Rachel Piercey

Saturday 11th November, 10.00-11.00am 

One of the most truly beautiful and engaging children’s books we’ve seen this year is “Grand Old Oak and the Birthday Ball”, with delightful nature poems by Rachel Piercey and glorious accompanying illustrations by Freya Hartas. Full of nature facts & stats, there are 100 things for children to spot in Brown Bear Wood on every spread.

Author Rachel Piercey will be with us for an enchanting event for children aged 5+, celebrating both poetry and nature. Don’t miss it, especially if you love bears and trees.


Don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest Festival updates.

Twitter: @bookstroud




With love from

The Stroud Book Festival team x

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