You may be forgiven for thinking they all share similar traits, but these are just a few included in the Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2011 line up next month. So open that diary and clear the weekend of Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th June – this year sees the introduction of children’s events.
The line-up includes comedians Alexei Sayle, Stewart Lee and David Walliams. MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott makes a return and will help kick off the event at it’s Gala Launch.
Ex drug dealer and Arizona jail inmate Shaun Attwood, is back again this year, after he made an appearance last summer and read from his book Hard Time, a searing account of his stint behind bars. He’ll be in conversation with Journalist Gavin Knight author of Hood Rat , tackling gang warfare in the inner cities.
Uber stoner and cultural icon – Mr Nice AKA Howard Marks, holds court with anecdotes and tales of his old notorious ways, including being on the FBI’s most wanted list. Following the success of his drug smuggling memoir Mr Nice, and on the heel of the Movie, Marks has just published his first novel Sympathy For The Devil.
Others include architectural historian and BBC presenter Dan Cruickshank author and social commenter Iain Sinclair. Legendary playwright Steven Berkoff will talk about former Stoke Newington resident Edgar Allen Poe and his novel The Telltale Heart.
“Some of the most creative people on the planet live in Hackney, but many people in the borough still struggle with literacy,” said festival director Liz Vater.
“We’re trying to celebrate the area’s literary and radical past, put Stoke Newington on the map and in doing so, help raise money for projects that will encourage hard-to-reach adults and kids to engage with reading, storytelling and writing.
Vater added, “This year’s line-up is eclectic and we hope, very relevant to Hackney. From Edgar Allen Poe to a celebration of the bicycle, we’ve tried to pull together a programme that reflects what people are thinking and what they’re interested in. We’ve kept ticket prices as reasonable as possible hoping that it encourages people to try events they might not usually go to.”
For more information and complete programme, visit The Stoke Newington Literary Festival website