Sheffield celebrates the 24th year of Off the Shelf Festival

Sheffield celebrates the 24th year of Off the Shelf Festival

17 September 2015

Sheffield’s Crucible theatre played host once again for the launch of this years Off the Shelf – Sheffield’s literary festival that now commands a national and international reputation.

The event included performances from guest curator for 2015, British writer and political activist Owen Jones, acclaimed author Sunjeev Sahota, poet Mike Garry and local singer songwriter Nat Johnson.

Guest curator Owen Jones said: “It's a huge honour to be a guest curator at the Off the Shelf Festival, and particularly to be working with three guest speakers who have been inspirational to me. I hope this will be a wonderful day of debate, discussion and ideas.”

Owen Jones is a particularly topical choice given his involvement in the debates about political identity and the future of left-wing politics during the Labour leadership contest. Off the Shelf is now a major national literary festival that continues to attract an impressive array of world renowned talent and has not lost touch with its grass roots origins as a community festival. This combination sets the festival apart from other major festivals. 

Maria de Souza, Arts Officer at Off the Shelf said: “Off the Shelf offers the chance to immerse yourself in the best of the written and spoken word and experience literature as live as it gets. With more than 200 events this year we feel sure our eclectic programme offers something for everyone whatever their literary taste.”

Off the Shelf 2015 welcomes the usual vast array of literary talent from around the world to around the corner, from playwright David Hare, thriller writer Val McDermid, children’s author Michael Rosen, presenter John Suchet, politician Shirley Williams, retail guru Mary Portas, DJ, author and journalist Dave Haslam to Yorkshire celebrities such as poets Ian McMillan and Simon Armitage.

For full information on the Off the Shelf 2015 festival programme visit