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Off The Shelf Festival 2019: Programme launches its 28th edition

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Jack Monroe

Over its 28-year history, Off The Shelf Festival of Words has established itself as one of Sheffield's most esteemed cultural events, bringing some of the best-loved authors and thinkers to the city.

This year's programme is no different, with events fitting into two strands, both of which are inspired by the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Ruskin - Working Class Voices and Environment.

Off The Shelf 2019 will host dozens of inspirational literary figures from 5 to 26 October, exploring this year's social themes through a variety of disciplines. Here are a few picks of the bunch.

For the budding novelists out there, Zadie Smith will be discussing her first short-story collection (3 Oct, Sheffield City Hall), local artist Pete McKee will be chatting about his latest book (22 Oct, SU Auditorium), and the Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, will be taking us back to the Dales with her family of nine (20 Oct, Firth Hall).

Foodies, don't miss Jack Monroe's top tips on how to make the most of store cupboard food (15 Oct, SU Auditorium), or Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, better known as BOSH, showing us how delicious vegan food can be (5 Oct, Firth Hall).

For the poetry lovers, there will be a bi-lingual reading of Legna Rodriguez Iglesias' poetry (7 Oct, Theatre Deli), as well as an unmissable animated poem created by writer Nat Loftus and artist Miriam Stayte, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (7 Oct, Park Hill).

There are also talks by actors who have graced our screens for decades, including David Suchet (9 Oct, Octagon) and Katy Brand exploring their influences (21 Oct, SU Auditorium).

Off The Shelf 2019 will also host day events including Crime Afternoon (19 Oct, Millennium Gallery), with Nicci French and Elly Griffiths, and a Celebrating Ruskin event (26 Oct, Millennium Gallery), which will include guests Janet Barnes and Andrew Hill.

Tickets for all these events, and so many more, go on sale on 1 September.

Emma Walsh

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Art: Phlegm

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