Damian Barr's Literary Salon expands with guest hosts

Damian Barr's Literary Salon expands with guest hosts

Damian Barr's Literary Salon is expanding with exclusive events and guest host authors and journalists including Sara Collins and Sathnam Sanghera.

The first salons with guest hosts have been confirmed for May and June 2021. Alexandra Heminsley will interview Paris Lees about her debut What it Feels Like for a Girl (Particular), and Sam Baker will talk caring and carers with Kate Mosse, for the launch of her new memoir An Extra Pair of Hands (Wellcome Collection).

In April, Barr will be discussing design and story with acclaimed American architect David Rockwell for the launch of his new book Drama (Phaidon).

Among the other authors taking up hosting duties for upcoming salons are Anthony Anaxagorou, Alex Clark, Natalie Haynes, Paul McVeigh and Sarah Perry.

Heminsley said: “After over a joyful decade as both guest and audience at the literary salon, I’m thrilled to join the roster of hosts. There are very few spaces - online or off - where literature and genuine belly laughs meet with such glee, and such success.”

The salon started as a series of live events at Shoreditch House in 2008 and has now been staged all around the world - from Brighton to Edinburgh to Sydney and São Paulo for audiences of up to 1,000. Authors appearing have included Mary Beard, Armistead Maupin, Jojo Moyes and Yaa Gyasi.

This month, it launched a major partnership with the Reading Agency, working with the charity to on exclusive content and tips.

Barr said: “I believe stories are for everybody and everybody has a story. I started the salon at Shoreditch House in 2008 because I craved a joyful space for writers and readers to meet through their shared passion. Since then, we’ve popped up across London and around the world, celebrating established names and championing debuts. I’m so grateful to my fellow writers for trusting Salon to launch their work and to our ever enthusiastic and growing community.

“The salon has always been about breaking down barriers. Stories are the engines of empathy - they help us see the world differently and encourage us to turn the page rather than turn away. We need stories now more than ever. Introducing a diverse range of brilliant guest hosts enables us to stage more salons and make the conversation around books even bigger and even more inclusive.”