4 July 2008
THIS MONTH book geeks from all over the world will be congregating in Southwark as The Southbank Centre plays host to the second London Literature Festival, writes Damien Gayle...
The two-week long festival is a celebration of the written word in all its forms: poetry, fiction, non-fiction and even graphic novels will all be showcased through readings, talks, debates and prize givings across the 21 acre site - the UK's largest cultural centre.
According to festival organizer Martin Colthorpe the event has an "urban and irreverent ethos embodying london's global identities and progressive urban cultures." Talks on migration and architecture will be presented alongside specially-curated events covering lesbian and gay literature, the popularity of graphic novels and the nature of London itself.
Themes covered by the festival include Mama Africa, an examination of the iconic figures and newest talent in African literature; Booking Passage, a series about homelands, border crossings and the stories they evoke - particularly poignant in a city of immigrants like London; Tales of the City, which will examine the inspiring pulse of urban life; and The House of Homosexual Culture, a celebration of queer literature.
The festival schedule is jam packed with juicy literary goodness. On July 7th former Labour MP Tony Benn and maverick Tory politician David Davis will be debating the nature of democracy, which is to raise some interesting issues given Davis' recent resignation over 42 day detention. July 14th will see the UK premiere of provocative gay interest documentary The Bible Tells Me So hosted by actor Ian McKellan and controversial Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop who was recently barred from this year's Lambeth Palace conference of senior Anglican bishops over his permissive stance on blessing gay unions.
Other highlights will include eco-journalist George Monbiot discussing his new book, Bring on the Apocalypse; Zaha Hadid and Antony Gormley will take part in a discussion of urbanism; Alan Moore, author of classic graphic novel The Watchmen, will make a rare appearance with his wife and long-time collaborator Melinda Gebbie; Comedienne Josie Long will provide an evening of live comedy; gay rapper Qboy will be performing live; whilst there will be readings from, amongst others, Mohammed Hanif, Colm Toibin, Jenny Dinski
During the festival there will also be three major literary award announcements: The Best of the Booker, BBC Four's Samuel Johnson Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing.
The festival runs from 5th through to 17th July. For information on listings, tickets and venues go to www.londonlitfest.com. Discounts are available for bulk bookings.
No comments have been posted.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale