We have quite a literary history here in Stoke Newington with writers such as Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe and Edgard Allen Poe having all been residents at some point. Modern day Stokie still has more than its fair share of writers and journalists, with what seems like most of the Guardian staff living here.
Last year long time local resident Liz Vater decided the literary heritage of Stoke Newington should be celebrated and saw a gap in the market for a literary festival based in London. She also hoped to give something back to the local community saying “Stoke Newington may be very affluent, but Hackney has one of the lowest literacy levels in Europe. I hope to raise literacy funding and to make people proud of their literary heritage.”
The first Stoke Newington festival was a great success, despite the fact Liz had little or no funding and had to rely on volunteers to help run it. Now it is back for the second time with a fantastic line up of events. Taking place from Friday 3rd of June until Sunday the 5th, in a number of venues dotted around the borough, speakers include David Walliams talking about his new book Billionaire Boy, author Owen Jones discussing CHAV: The Demonisation of the Working Class, with local resident and Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore and one of TWR favourite writers Linda Grant, talking about her work and inspiration – as well as many more really interesting events.
If you are a Londoner or visiting for the weekend it will be well worth making the journey to Stokie. Ok there isn’t a tube, but if you talk to any long time resident, that is exactly why we love living here, it keeps us a little remote and village like! Just get the no 73 bus, sit back and read a book and before you know it you’ll be in Church Street.
You can book for events on the website.