Deptford Literature Festival

19 Mar 22 — 19 Mar 22
Deptford Literature Festival celebrates the creativity and diversity and Deptford and Lewisham through words, stories and performance.

The Festival features a host of talented writers, artists and organisations based in the area. It’s a literature festival with a difference, with the local community at its heart.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come along, whether they’re a keen writer or reader or they’d just like to have a go.

Many of the Festival events are BSL interpreted. Many events are free, and free tickets for paid events are offered to Lewisham residents on low incomes.

Writers and artists taking part in the Festival include Deptford resident Inua Ellams. The internationally-renowned playwright, poet and novelist will be hosting a special edition of his popular R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry) Party. Local superstar novelists Caleb Azumah Nelson and Sara Jafari will be in conversation about their work.

Deptford-based poet and visual artist Ella Frears, whose work has been featured at Tate St Ives, invites the curious and intrepid to join her on a walk along Deptford Creek, in collaboration with the Creekside Education Trust. Jamie Hale, a poet and essayist from Lewisham, will be inviting people to create radical nature poetry inspired by the local environment. Local novelist Leone Ross will lead a fiction writing workshop on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Inclusive children’s bookshop Round Table Books are hosting a day of low-cost family activities for children and their parents/ carers at Deptford Lounge children’s library, featuring a number of authors and illustrators including Flavia Zorrilla Drago, Laura Henry Allain MBE, Onyinye Iwu, Zanib Mian and Denzell Dankwah.

Other programme highlights include an audio-walk tracing Deptford’s (in)famous literary history with local author Anna Sayburn Lane, and a workshop exploring the stories of local women past and present with poet Laila Sumpton.

Deptford Literature Festival’s community projects are taking place in the run-up to the Festival, including: Park Life Poetry engaging Year 5 pupils from Lucas Vale Primary School with nature and science in partnership with The Friends of Brookmill Park. The Food on Our Table: Stories of Home, Family and Community, a Lewisham Borough of Culture 2022 project, capturing stories from local residents centred on food, produced by Lewisham writer Carinya Sharples. A Film-in-a-Day project and DJ-ing and writing workshops for young people with Youth First. A whole-year read-along by Year 10 students from Deptford Green School of Candice Carty-Williams’ Empress & Aniya plus an in-school reading, and a publishing career talk by Aimée Felone (Knights of). Matchstick Theatre Company will be showcasing Pieces of Eight, celebrating all things Deptford in drama, poetry and comedy. Local organisation Entelechy Arts are working with residents of Manley Court Care Home to create artworks and poetry.

Local editor and writer Sara Jafari will publish a special edition of TOKEN Magazine featuring new writing and illustration by local creatives, or inspired by the area. Copies will be free to pick up at Deptford Lounge and the Albany during the Festival.