Three and a half weeks on from the successful – albeit rain-washed and eventually diverted to drier venues – second Hastings Pride festival, HIP Literature welcomes the return of celebrated LGBT+ Polari Literary Salon to our town. Based at London’s Southbank Centre, Polari has been established for eleven years and over the past three has lit up The Printworks in Hastings with an eclectic range of literary performances from the LGBT+ community.

Supported by Arts Council England, Polari has enjoyed two sell-out six-week seasons at The Printworks since 2016. As well as regular performances at Southbank Centre, Polari Literary Salon frequently tours the UK and, this year, Ireland. The current tour has included Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bradford, Newcastle, Brighton, Belfast and Dublin. The Hastings date is on 19th September.

Hosted by Polari founder and author, Paul Burston, who is partly based in Hastings, the guests on the night are RJ Arkhipov, Jane Harris and VG Lee.

RJ Arkhipov broke into poetry through fashion in 2013 when his anagram poem, ‘Reflexion’, was published in an international fashion magazine. His poem ‘Inkwell’, written using his own blood as ink, gained international notoriety as a form of poetic protest against the gay blood donor ban. His first collection, Visceral, was published in July.

Jane Harris’s best-selling debut novel, The Observations (2006), was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and chosen by Richard and Judy as one of 100 Books of the Decade. Her second novel, Gillespie & I (2011), was shortlisted for the National Book Awards. Sugar Money (2017), her third novel, has been shortlisted in 2018 for the Walter Scott Prize, the Historical Writer’s Association Gold Crown and the Wilbur Smith Prize for Adventure Writing. Jane’s work has been published in 20 languages.

VG Lee is the critically-acclaimed author of five novels and a collection of short stories. She has lived in Hastings for many years, and in 2012 was nominated for a Stonewall Award for writing. A year later she won the Ultimate Planet Award for Best Established Author. Val is also a regular contributor of humour to The Lady Magazine and has just completed her second collection of short stories, Oh You Pretty Thing, to be published in February 2019.

Paul Burston is the author of five novels including the WH Smith bestseller The Black Path. As well as being the curator and host of this award-winning literary salon he is the founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new LGBT+ writing. In 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s Global List, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world” He has just completed his sixth novel.

Polari on Sea is on Wednesday, 19th September at The Printworks, Claremont, Hastings, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets are £8 (£6 conc).

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.