Diaries out, bibliophiles. Festival season is almost upon us. No, not the festival season that will have you rolling around in mud or throwing your pants at the stage (well, you could throw your pants at the stage, and we’d certainly provide moral support for that endeavour). We’re talking literary festival season – Christmas in July for the book geeks among us.
Let’s start with the little guy first. London Lit Plus launched just last year, and Londonist quite liked what it had on offer. As our philosophy is that all good things get better with age, we’re expecting greatness from the 2008 event. How can we pick favourites when it all looks so good? Thus far we’re really liking the Spice Festival Slam, London Magtastic, the literary pub quiz, and the Spread the Word literary advice seminar. Keep an eye on the site (or join the Facebook group), as the lineup is likely to continue to evolve between now and the launch.
Now to the Establishment: the London Literature Festival. We particularly like the Fresh off the Page (check out Fresh on the Stage and Barz & Stanzas) and the Tales of the City series (have a look at The Hayward Celebrates 40, The Future of London Debate, The City Rises: Cities & Modernism, and the Polarbear spoken word event). Other highlights: Best of the Booker Prize, London Liming, and Refugee Encounters.
Finally, new to the Proms this year is a literary festival exploring the relationship between writers and composers. Events include everything from Hermione Lee on Wordsworth and Blake, to Iain Sinclair on wildness and nature in the city, to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Dostoyevsky.
Who ever said summer was for light beach reading?
London Lit Plus officially runs 5–19 July at venues across the city, but note that there are pre-LL+ events starting as early as 24 June (entry prices range from nothing to £15); the London Literature Festival, at the Southbank Centre, coincidentally also runs 5–19 July (entry prices range from nothing to £12; discounts increase with the number of events booked); and the Proms Literary Festival is ongoing from 19 July to 10 September (literary events are included with admission to the Proms).