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about the festival

London Word Festival is a pioneering, annual celebration of words, text and language; daring in its approach to cross-artform programming, commissioning new work and exploring non-traditional spaces.

Established in 2007 and based in London’s vibrant East End, the Festival has featured a wide range of artists from the fields of music, literature, comedy, theatre and live art.

We’ve paired cult US slam poet Saul Williams with spoken word hip-hop duo dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip; we’ve transformed a medieval tower in Hackney into a ghostly sound field with leftfield author Iain Sinclair; we’ve premiered Edward Larrikin’s first play in a Victorian music hall, instigated collaborative ballad printing in Stoke Newington, and conducted stand-up experiments in live blogging. Our 2009 commission Inua Ellams’ The 14th Tale won an Edinburgh Fringe First and transferred to the National Theatre in February 2010.

Founded by Tom Chivers, Sam Hawkins and Marie McPartlin on a shoe-string budget but with a lot of good will, in 2009 the Festival received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award. We work out of a nineteenth-century workshop in Shoreditch with no running water and pigeons the size of small dogs.

Contact us

Proposals, &c. should be emailed to or sent to:

London Word Festival
3 Cleeve Workshops
Boundary Street
London E2 7JD