Former Glasgow library head appointed as Wordplay curator

Shetland Arts has appointed former head of Glasgow libraries Karen Cunningham, as the new curator of Wordplay, Shetland Arts’ festival of words and ideas.

New wordplay curator Karen Cunningham. Photo: Jenny Leask

Cunningham has a long-standing enthusiasm and interest for Shetland, and has described the role as “a dream opportunity”.

In addition to her former library role, she has extensive experience working with festivals and cultural events. She is a former judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, founded the Glasgow book festivals Aye Write! and Wee Write! in 2004, and has since gone on to work as director of the Festival of Architecture 2016.

As well as exploring literary themes, she has deep connections with politics and journalism, a thread which she hopes to bring into her work with Wordplay.

The appointment comes after a period of consultation with audiences and stakeholders regarding the future of literature in Shetland, which identified a desire for more events with high profile writers, among other things.

Shetland Arts general manager Graeme Howell said: “We’re delighted to welcome Karen to the Shetland Arts family.

“Her enthusiasm, experience and connections make her the ideal candidate to develop Wordplay in new and exciting directions, and we’re very much looking forward to working with her.”

Wordplay takes place between 2nd and 5th November. Full programme information will be available at nearer the time.


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