London Word Festival 2008

Fri 22 Feb


Ben Goldacre, Rich Sandling, Ben Moor, Helen Zaltzman, Neil Edmond, Martin White & Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee

Bardens Boudoir | £7 adv | 7pm

This should be the best lecture you ever had, but all splintered and haphazard, like the popular children’s magazine of knowledge, Look and Learn. Like a Show and Tell, with less dinosaurs and more words. And some of those Words will be songs. Joining Robin are The Guardian’s Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre MD; VHS [...]

Full details

Sat 23 Feb


+ Freeze (Tim Key & Tom Basden)
+ Jimmy the Homeless

Bardens Boudoir | £6 adv | 7pm

An evening of shambolic brilliance. A veritable banquet of games, fun and top quality DIY comedy that’s both informative and entertaining, led by Josie Long and her merry band of men and women. Also starring Tim Key and Tom Basden as the co-dependent double-act Freeze; and love songs and poems about shagging from Jimmy the [...]

Full details

Mon 25 Feb


+ dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip
+ Polar Bear (MC)
+ Charlie Dark (DJ)

Cargo | £15 adv | 7pm

A hip-hop troubadour night of hyper-finessed lyrical wonderment from the original New York renaissance poet Saul Williams and the UK’s upstart pretenders dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip. A perfect fusion of two generations of standard-bearing hip-hop poets, hosted by verbally gifted Brummie Polar Bear and with tunes from DJ Charlie Dark.

Full details

Tue 26 Feb


+ Simon Munnery
+ Donal Coonan
+ Matthew Crosby (MC)

Gramaphone | £6 adv | 7pm

Celebrating five years of his daily blog Warming Up, Richard Herring heads up a night dedicated to the art of web logging, flogging and fisking. Also featuring New Statesman blogger, experimental cabaret man, poet and playwright Simon Munnery, and hosted by self-dubbed ‘thinking man’s buffet’ Matthew Crosby. For text-addicts and technophobes alike.

Full details

Thu 28 Feb


+ Joe Dunthorne
+ Richard Milward

Bardens Boudoir | £6.50 adv | 7pm

Experience live readings from three of the hottest fiction writers of 2007/8. US author Joshua Ferris reads from Then We Came To The End, his virtuoso satire of office life based in a Chicago advertising agency; Richard Milward’s Apples is a prelapsarian tale of innocence and experience laced with E, weed, Smirnoff and speed. Joe [...]

Full details

Fri 29 Feb


featuring Mario Petrucci, Melanie Challenger, Caspar Henderson & Neil Astley
Chaired by Roddy Lumsden

Bishopsgate Institute | £7 / £5 conc. | 7pm

Do writers have a vital role in promoting understanding in a world threatened by climate change and terrorism; or, to bastardise WH Auden, does literature ‘make nothing happen’? Eco-poet Mario Petrucci, writer and environmental activist Caspar Henderson and Melanie Challenger, who has just returned from the Antarctic where she was Artist in Residence for International [...]

Full details

Tue 4 Mar


Featuring new writing from Lizzie Nunnery, Joel Horwood, Tim Price & Alan McKendrick

The George Tavern | £5 adv | 7pm

A night presenting readings of works-in-progress from four of Britain’s best young playwrights, between them representing Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow and the South East. They will introduce rehearsed read-throughs in the atmospheric surroundings of Shadwell’s George Tavern. This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the hottest property in contemporary theatre.

Full details

Wed 5 Mar


+ Orphans & Vandals
+ Tim Wells
+ Hannah Silva

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club | £6.50 adv | 7pm

Acclaimed theatre group 1927 combine the dyspeptic tales of Suzanne Andrade with cloven-hoofed animations and music from the silent film era. Orphans & Vandals fuse Al Joshua’s breathless vocals with a panoply of instruments from glockenspiel to the saw. Oblique, bleak bloke Tim Wells is a Forward Prize nominee who supported The Libertines with his [...]

Full details

Sat 8 Mar

Edward Larrikin’s Camusflage Krokodial

+ The Pan I Am (acoustic)
+ Barnaby Tidman

Hoxton Hall | £10 adv | 7pm

From the mind of musical wunderkid Edward Larrikin comes Camusflage Krokodial, a short play for one actor. In this savage and unrepeatable whirlwind of speech, the solitary figure of Man, a toilet-tasting, white-haired nightmare, ranges through eternity whilst taking potshots at the temporal. Plus, performances by Edward’s new musical project The Pan I Am and [...]

Full details

Sun 9 Mar

The Oulipo Poets

+ Toby Litt

Gramaphone | £5 adv | 7pm

Joe Dunthorne, Ross Sutherland and Tim Clare explore the Oulipian universe including the ramifications of writing poetry using only one vowel – univocalism. Formalist poetry shoot-out. Joining them is celebrated novelists Toby Litt, reading from his latest publication I Play The Drums In A Band Called Okay.

Full details

Tue 11 Mar


+ The Ventriloquist Band
+ A Poem In Between People

Cargo | £8 adv | 7pm

Discover what happens when poetry and jazz go head-to-head in an almighty spoken word mash-up. Newcomes A Poem In Between People commence the verbal ruckus; the mighty Ventriloquist Band will rip up the jazz rule book with tall tales, verbal dexterity and sonic sorcery; and internationally acclaimed Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band provide a [...]

Full details

Wed 12 Mar


+ Stop Sharpening Your Knives

Gramaphone | £3 adv | 7pm

Ben Borek’s debut book of verse is a quirky, rip-roaring Yuletide tale set in a South London tower block. Toby Litt dubbed it ‘a truly fantastic, and wholly unexpected, London book’ in Time Out. Donjong Heights is launched tonight, in association with Eggbox Publishing.

Full details

Thu 13 Mar


featuring Scott Pack, Chris Meade, John Lenehan & Shirley Dent

Bishopsgate Institute | £7 / £5 conc. | 7pm

What does the future hold for reading, writing and publishing? Is the Ebook actually any good? And has blogging really revolutionised literature? Join our expert panel, which includes The Friday Project director and ‘most powerful man in the books trade’ Scott Pack, Chris Meade of the Institute for the Future of the Book and writer/magician [...]

Full details

follow the festival


This year's Festival
Buy tickets
Venue information

Previous Festivals
LWF 2009
LWF 2008