Has it been 3 years already? Hard to believe it was the year I started this site and first announced, what is fast becoming a must go to event on the literary calendar.
Festival organizers say this year, The Stoke Newington Literary Festival will be a refreshing alternative to the union jack teapots and misty-eyed monarchy-lovers.
Citing Stoke Newingtons long history of radical thinking, rebel rousing and counter-culture roots , the organizers promise this year will be grittier than ever. I think their definition for radicalism and counter-culture is a whole lot different from mine, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion for a whole ‘nother day.
Some hardy perennials like Suzanne Moore, Diane Abbott and Iain Sinclair pop up again, along with comedians Danny Wallace, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Simon Day.
The eclectic line-up also features ‘punk poet’ John Cooper Clarke as its headliner on Saturday 2nd June, plus Jackie Kay, China Miéville, Nick Cohen, Wilko Johnson, George Alagiah, Jenny Colgan, Mark Billingham, and The Gruffalo, to name but a few of the star turns that will be appearing at venues across N16 over the festival weekend!
This year’s festival features its first dedicated Turkish & Kurdish strand, which the organisers are hoping will grow to become an important part of the annual programme.
Turkey’s biggest selling female author, Elif Shafak, will talk about her new novel Honour, which features a couple whose lives span a Kurdish village, Istanbul and Hackney, and Hollywood screenwriter (and Stoke Newington resident) Tony Grisoni will be screening and discussing ‘Kingsland’, his short film which is cast and filmed locally and which features a perspective of the area that most people never see.
Festival director Liz Vater says: “We’re already being billed as one of the most exciting literary festivals in the UK, which is a huge honour considering we’re only in our third year. We set up to raise money for literacy initiatives within Hackney and already have some exciting projects in development. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend with loads to see and do, for the whole family.”
The kids’ festival features a visit from The Gruffalo as well as family events in which kids can learn to write their own stories or draw their own comics. Additionally, the festival is going into 3 local schools on Friday 1st June, ensuring that as many kids as possible get to meet an author.
For full line up including musical guest visit Stoke Newington Literary Festival