By Enjoli Liston
The second annual Peckham Literary Festival will begin on Monday November 17, showcasing local writing talent through 15 free events held over six days.
Billed as “a celebration of books and words and Peckham all rolled into one”, the week will feature readings, workshops, book launches, a play and an open-mic poetry night all held at local venues.
The festival will kick off on Monday night with bizarre folklore and tales of south-east London, told by economic novelist David Boyle and author Chris Roberts.
One of this year’s highlights is the launch of ‘A Secret Alchemy’ by Emma Darwin, who is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths. Darwin received wide acclaim for her last novel ‘The Mathematics of Love’, which was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers and Goss First Novel awards and translated into seven languages.
“Peckham is throbbing with artists, writers and creative talent,” said Sally Butcher, one of the event organisers, who hosts some of the events in her Peckham based Persian deli Persepolis “it’s the best place in the universe for community spirit.”
Sally, who won Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year 2007 for her recipe book “Persia in Peckham”, set up the festival with Roz Simpson, who owns Review, a local book shop which is also one of the festival venues. “We need to stop the Del-boy-style preconceptions of Peckham and get people to realise that good, creative things do come out of this part of London. Only Fools and Horses wasn’t even filmed in Peckham anyway!”
This year, the pair have secured funding from Peckham Community Council and say this has helped them to publicise the festival and almost double the number of events.