Words: useful little critters, no? Without them we’d be, well, a lot of things, but most certainly out of a job. From puns to poetry, improv to irony, books to blogs, we pretty much revel in all that language has to offer. But no, we will neither confirm nor deny reports that we’ve stayed home on a Friday night for a heated game of Scrabble.
What we will confirm, however, is that we greet the news of the upcoming three-week London Word Festival as something like a gift from the linguistic gods. Pulling together a range of artists from an array of genres, the first-time festival cuts a wide swath through the world of wordsmithery. Universal among all the artists is medium: language is the basis for the art. And so we get one night dedicated to hip hop poetry, another to plays in progress; one night with bloggers, another with songwriters; one night for comedians, including Londonist darling Josie Long, and another night for novelists, including Joshua Ferris, whose (we thought brilliant) debut, Then We Came to the End, was singled out on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the top ten books of 2007. All this in one delightful hodgepodge celebration.
So whether you’re a word wizard, a comedy connoisseur, a phonetics fetishist, or a lyrical lover (Mr. Boombastic? No, Mr. Bean), you’re bound to find something in the festival lineup that appeals. And if, like us, you just generally geek out for language, then you might want to start fuelling up on carbs and energy drinks now to prepare yourself for the endurance test that awaits. We’ll be there – bleary-eyed but blissful.
The London Word Festival runs from 20 February to 14 March. Check the festival site for full lineup, venue info, and tickets.
Image courtesy of the London Word Festival