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Rock Formations


Sea Fever 7 – 16 and 17 June 2023


Dazzling line-up for SEA FEVER 7  Programme

Friday 16 June 


The call of the running tide….the poetry of the sea

Iona Rangeley

Einstein the Penguin; The Case of the Polar Preachers; The Case of the Fishy Detective

With her books – shortly to be three – about Einstein the Penguin, Iona Rangeley has taken the world of children’s books by storm. Local schoolchildren will be coming to discover what makes her tick.


John Johnson-Allen with Gervas Steele

Rosy’ Wemyss, Admiral of the Fleet

John sub-titles his biography of Wemyss, ‘The Man who created Armistice Day.’ Yet as one of Wemyss’s successors as First Sea Lord observes,’ ‘…This book shows clearly that in many ways Wemyss was more a naval officer of the 21st century than of the 19th into which he had been born’. John wil be talking to Gervas Steele.  


Workshop with Briony Bax

The call of the sea

A poet in her own right, as former editor of Ambit Briony Bax excels in bringing out the best in others. In this workshop her theme could hardly be richer: the call of the sea. Evyeon’e welcome. Just bring a pen, paper and ideas.


Caroline Davison with Tony Britten

The Captain’s Apprentice

The Captain's Apprentice is the story of how a King’s Lynn cabin boy opened the door to an entirely new world of melody, harmony and feeling' for Ralph Vaughan Williams. Caroline is in conversation with composer Tony Britten.


Matthew Hollis and Tim Dee with Briony Bax

The Nature of Poetry

John Keats wrote that to watch a sparrow was to take part in existence. How we exist - and co-exist - with the natural world will be the pre-occupation of this thrilling evening of nature writing and poetry. Tim Dee is one of our leading writers on the landscape and skyscape of birds; he will be discussing 'Greenery', a pursuit of seasonal change, with Matthew Hollis, an award-winning poet, who will be launching 'Earth House' his new collection of poems that celebrate the terrain of his native Anglia. Briony Bax will be holding the ring. 



Saturday 17 June


The vagrant gypsy life….people of the sea

Jessica Streeting


Jessica’s epic poem is an extraordinary memoir of a Norfolk childhood and the tragedy of her father’s drowning on the coast. In conversation with publisher Henry Layte. 


Professor John Mullan

The Artful Dickens

John’s new book comprises thirteen entertaining and wonderfully astute essays in which he explores the literary machinations of Dickens's eccentric genius, from his delight in clichés to his rendering of smells and his outrageous use of coincidences’ Howard Jacobsen commented,  ‘This is a marvellous, endlessly illuminating book ... It doesn't go on the shelf alongside other critics; it goes on the shelf alongside Dickens.’


Julia Jones

Uncommon Courage

Julia’s new book is a brilliant account of the amateur sailors whi joined the ranks of the Royal Navy in WW2. Gryff Rees-Jones commented, ‘From Childers to Monserrrat via shute and Maurice Griffiths. Julia Jones links the world of yachting, literature, the navy and war into an extraordinary account of heroism and sacrifice. An unexpected and important story, rivetingly told. Rip roaring stuff. Get this into the paws of the sea dog in your life.’



I must go down to the seas again…the sea, art and artists 

Nick Trend

Art Firsts

Best known as as the Chief Culture and Consumer affairs editor of the Telegraph Travel desk, Nick is also an art historian. His debut  Art Firsts brings together 30 pioneering firsts to piece together an original approach to looking at and appreciating art. For the festival, he’ll be taking special look at JMW Turner and the sea.


Simon Barnes with Nick Acheson

The History of the World in 100 Plants, The Green Planet, On the Marsh.

Ornitholigist, novelist, wildlife blogger, Norfolk resdent and former chief sports writer for The Times in conversation with conservataionist and broadcaster Nick Acheson.


Matthew Hollis with Professor Jon Cook

The Waste Land

Matthew Hollis celebrates the cenetenary of the poem often held to define the 20th century in his new ‘biography’ of TS Eliot’s masterpiece. He'll be in conversation with Professor Jon Cook, who makes a mosr welcome return to the festival .


SEA FEVER has been made possible since its inception by the generous support of Hayes + Storr, the North and West Norfolk solicitors.

Books will be on sale from a pop-up outlet of the Holt Bookshop (

Tickets are on sale through the Maltings Box Office:; 01328 710885. 

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