First wave of writers and thinkers announced for Bristol Ideas 2023

First wave of writers and thinkers announced for Bristol Ideas 2023

Posted on: 09 Feb 2023

Each year Bristol Ideas hosts workshops, discussions and debates from talented writers, commentators and scholars from all over the world, posing urgent questions about the world we live in.


Bristol Ideas’ 2023 programme kicks off tonight (Thursday 9 February) with regular events planned throughout February, March, April and May.


The first wave of this year’s Bristol Ideas events will see the likes of Nichola Raihani, Julian Baggini, Kirsty Sedgman and Sarah Bakewell appear at venues at bookshops and venues all over the city.


For more information, visit the Bristol Ideas website for more information.



Beginning Bristol Ideas’ 2023 lineup is a sold-out Darwin Day Lecture from Nichola Raihani at Waterstones, Union Street. Taking place later today, the renowned psychologist will explore the science behind cooperation in the aftermath of extended lockdowns and social distancing.


Next week, film critic Hanna Glint (pictured below) will be at Waterstones to discuss her personal journey towards self-acceptance through a cinematic lens. How can cinema represent our multicultural society? This event takes place on Wednesday 15 February, book tickets here.


Monday 20 February sees philosopher Julian Baggini and some guests explore the habits and principles of history’s top philosophers and how they can help us to think better. Tickets for this event at St George’s can be found here


Author and cultural studies scholar Kirsty Sedgeman will be in Waterstones on Tuesday 28 February to look into questions around manners and behaviour, investigating the lines we draw between good and bad, appropriate and inappropriate, polite and rude. Tickets can be found here.

The first event of March is New Fiction by Afghan Women, an online event marking International Women’s Day. This year’s celebrations centre around My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird, a landmark anthology of short fiction from Afghan Women. The event will be hosted on Crowdcast on Wednesday 8 March, book your ticket here.


Next up is Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s appearance at Waterstones on Thursday 9 March. The talk will take a look at Adébáyò’s second novel, A Spell of Good Things, which explores wealth, poverty and shared experience in 1980s Nigeria. Grab your ticket here.


As part of WE Irish Festival, Bristol Ideas takes over The Royal Photographic Society on Monday 13 March for Road to Repeal: How did the Repeal the Eighth campaign shape Ireland? The event will take a look back over the formative decades of campaigning and how history was made in Ireland. Tickets can be found here


Bristol-born debut novelist Moses McKenzie (pictured below) will be at Easton’s Coexist Community Kitchen on Tuesday 21 March to discuss An Olive Grove in Ends – an intimate portrait of a Black-Bristolian community. Over a light supper, McKenzie will discuss his novel’s themes and depiction of Easton. This event is sold out, visit the Bristol Ideas website to join the waiting list.

On Tuesday 28 March renowned journalist Gary Younge (pictured below) - one of the UK’s leading political voices when it comes to current affairs - will discuss the last three decades of Black diaspora in relation to his new book, Dispatches from the Diaspora: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter. Hosted at Waterstones, book your tickets here.


The only event currently scheduled for April (Tuesday 25) is an appearance from Sarah Bakewell at Waterstones. The At the Existentialist Café author will be in conversation with Julian Baggini, reflecting on 700 years of humanist thought. Book your tickets here.


The final event planned for Bristol Ideas’ 2023 so far is an in-conversation with author and memoirist Natasha Carthew on Tuesday 9 May. The discussion at Waterstones will revolve around the socioeconomic inequality that is so rife in UK rural communities. Tickets for this event can be found here.

To find out more about Bristol Ideas, visit the festival website.


Gary Younge image: Jonas Jorgensen  

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Article by:

Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.