It’s been exciting to begin a new academic year, and to meet some of the new students I’ll be teaching this term at Portsmouth. Alongside that, my main focus has been preparing for this year’s Portsmouth DarkFest. DarkFest is an annual festival of arts and culture celebrating creative responses to the supernatural, weird and generally spooky.
The festival began in 2016, organised by Dr Karl Bell in the History department in collaboration with local authors and creatives across Portsmouth. DarkFest has grown steadily and in this year there are more than thirty events on the programme, with venues across Portsmouth, Southsea and beyond. The festival programming team have put together a fantastic range of events, from spooky storytelling and dark songs to ghost walks and public talks.
My main responsibilities have been focused on developing DarkFest’s online presence and branding – the DarkFest section of the Supernatural Cities website has been updated, as has the festival logo and art style. This year the full programme will be hosted on the website, which will hopefully make it easier for people to explore the full range of events, and plan their exploration of the dark side.
I’m also looking forward to taking part directly for the first time – I’ll be part of a panel discussing crime writing alongside some wonderful Portsmouth-based authors and scholars.