Programme highlights – full listings live on 18th March

Saturday 4th June

17:30 Meet at The Bedford, finish in Brixton at midnight

The Midnight Run

EventPhoto_Midnight Run

The Midnight Run is an arts-filled, night-time cultural journey through urban spaces. It gathers strangers and local artists/activists to explore, play and create whilst the city sleeps. Curated specially for The Balham Literature Festival, this event, led by Inua Ellams, is a walking writing workshop exploring literary histories and talking points from Balham to Brixton.

Price: £15

 Friday 10th June

19:30 International Nature & Travel Writing

Patrick Barkham, Helen Macdonald & Sara Wheeler

H is for Hawk

British Nature writing is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the UK. But how does it work internationally? Where is the overlap with travel writing and how does it compare with literature from different narrative traditions? Three acclaimed writers in these genres discuss.

Price: £15

21:00 Live Music

ContribPhoto_Caught By The River Logo

Partnership event with Caught by the River the legendary Jeff Barrett presents his music selection, kicking off the festival in his tributary style.

Price: £15

Saturday 11th June

14:00 Extremes of exploration – flight, mountains, jungle, desert

William Atkins, James Macdonald Lockhart and Andrea Wulf

RAPTOR  The Invention Of Nature

What drives us to extremes? How do humans and animals co-exist in myriad landscapes? How does exploration in the 21st century compare with the impulses that moved explorers such as Alexander von Humboldt?

Price: £10

15:00 A Walk Around South West London

BPandRJoin the Bread, Print and Roses collective as we uncover Balham’s radical roots, diverse social histories and utopian experiments (Yes, really).

Just as, to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, there are no such thing as ordinary lives there are also no ordinary places. Balham abounds with tales of enclosure resistance, grisly murder, satanic mills and poor law defiance, played out against a fast-changing lanskip from Saxon settlement to assimilation into London’s octopus. The walk will last around 75 minutes.

Price: £10

16:00 China Miéville skews the Picturesque

Photo: Katie Cooke‘Over and over again, book after book, Miéville’s mature work forces the reader to ask the question that most writers get to prompt once in a literary lifetime if they’re lucky: what is this new thing we are being shown? Repeatedly, as a writer of the fantastic, he forces a redefinition of what fantasy can be’ – Francis Spufford, The Guardian.

Join China for an investigation of the picturesque written for this Festival.

Price: £15

Sunday 12th June

14:00 Excavating the myth of the Green Man

Nina Lyon, Robert Macfarlane and China Miéville

Uprooted  Landmarks  This Census Taker

How do we react to mythical men, whether in non-fiction such as Nina’s which traces the history of the Green Man, or in fiction like China’s This Census Taker which creates a new legendary father figure? And how does our vocabulary reflect and refract our myths? Three outstanding writers explore.

Price: £15

16:00 Deep into the English Eerie

Robert Macfarlane, Andrew Michael Hurley chaired by Stephanie Cross

  The Old Ways

Andrew Michael Hurley won the Costa First Novel Award with his atmospheric evocation of horror The Loney, and Robert Macfarlane captured a nation’s imagination with both his exceptional book The Old Ways and his astonishing essay for The Guardian on The English Eerie.

With Stephanie Cross they discuss the conjunction of fact and fiction, a contemporary take on this phenomenon.

Price: £15