Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane and Inua Ellams are to headline the inaugural Balham Literary Festival which will feature an “exciting line-up” of authors, performers and outdoor workshops.
Curated by Dulwich Books of West Dulwich, the three-day festival will celebrate ‘A Way of Being in the World'.
The festival, held at The Bedford in London's Balham, will kick off with a taster event on 4th June called The Midnight Run, a night-time cultural exploration of Balham with poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams. On Friday 10th June, Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground (Hutchinson) will "explain how to find your own piece of edgeland". Later, Macdonald, author of the Costa-winning H is for Hawk (Vintage) will be discussing the resurgence of British nature writing with Sara Wheeler and Patrick Barkham. The day ends with live music presented in conjunction with music group Caught by the River.
On Saturday (11th June) morning, bird-watcher and author Tim Dee will be discussing ‘the Birds and the Bees’ with poet and artist Sean Borodale, author of Bee Journal (Jonathan Cape), whilst Lauren Elkin and Matt Beaumont will recount their experiences of being ‘flâneurs’ - wanderers - in London and Paris, by day and by night. That afternoon in The Bedford’s Map Room, Kirsty Gunn, Tendai Huchu and Will Cohu will speak about the song of the land, and the creation of landscape and atmosphere in fiction. Meanwhile, Ruth Potts from anarchist collective 'bread, print and roses' will be leading a walking tour around South West London. Back in The Bedford, the festival’s second day will continue with Andrea Wulf, James Macdonald Lockhart and Will Atkins on extremes of flight and exploration, followed by China Miéville who will "skew the picturesque" in an investigation written especially for the event.
Sunday (12th June) will begin with Ellams joining Bradley Garrett to explore the urban landscape. Then there will be two events with bestselling nature writer Rob Macfarlane, speaking first about the myth of the Green Man with Miéville and Nina Lyon, and then later in conversation with Andrew Michael Hurley, author of 2015’s Costa winner The Loney (John Murray), and Stephanie Cross. Environment writer and author Fred Pearce and architectural writer Owen Hatherley will close the festival discussing our built and natural landscapes and how we can save them.
Susie Nicklin of Dulwich Books said: “We are all connected to our landscapes, whether urban, rural or those inside our heads, but how do we bring them to life? There are people – writers, photographers, musicians, artists across all genres – who describe and animate our surroundings with insight and verve, and we are delighted to welcome some of the greatest of these to our festival in June 2016. We urge you to join us for a dazzling approach to the worlds around and within us.”
Tickets are now available here until Friday 18th March.
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