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 with leftfield author Iain Sinclair; we’ve premiered Edward Larrikin’s first play in a Victorian music hall, instigated collaborative 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.
The 2010 festival demonstrated our renewed focus on commissioning and producing unique events: we commissioned folktronica musician to rewire Basil Bunting’s Modernist poem ‘Briggflatts’; developed a jazz-spoken-word-graphic-novel hybrid show, ; and produced the poetry-film-music ‘play of voices’ . With comedian Josie Long we produced , an explosion of online public creativity from over 1000 self-betterers of all shapes and sizes spread out across the world.
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 are based in Toynbee Studios.
Proposals, &c. should be emailed to or sent to:
London Word Festival
22 Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London E1 6AB
Tel. 020 7375 0121
, or for direct media enquiries email Sam Hawkins:
London Word Festival is currently recruiting. .