Bare Lit Festival will open its doors at London’s Albany community space on 4 and 5 May 2019 with an outstanding line-up of speakers and performers crossing genres and redefining what it means to be a literature festival.

In its fourth year, festival directors, Henna Zamurd-Butt and Mend Mariwany, continue to build Bare Lit’s reputation as a platform that brings together writers of all stripes to tackle hot topics and debates. What to expect? An exciting mix of artists, from storytelling performers and playwrights, to ground-breaking poets, novelists and journalists with exciting fresh talent taking the stage alongside internationally-celebrated veterans.

Bare Lit prides itself on tackling political debates, as well as contemporary movements within arts and culture. Sharmaine Lovegrove and Nick Davies, representatives of festival sponsor for 2019 Hachette UK, said:

“We are delighted to sponsor Bare Lit festival for the second year. The festival’s amplification of vital voices with an eclectic and accessible range of events for the BAME communities of readers and writers is a brilliant, positive way for people to be seen and heard.”

Bare Lit
Live monologue performances and conversation with actors at Bare Lit 2019

Programme highlights of the two-day festival include…

Acclaimed essayist, playwright, and poet ​Ben Okri ​will deliver the Keynote Speech

Having won numerous national and international prizes including the Booker Prize for Fiction, Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and The Guardian Fiction Prize, Okri’s latest book, ​The Freedom Artist​ (2019), described by The Guardian as “​savagely political, disturbing and fiercely optimistic”​ depicts a world in which books have disappeared and old stories are kept in secret.



Jhalak Prize presents a session asking: “How can writers of colour hold their ground?”

Author Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, YA writer Onjali Rauf and poet Roy McFarlane, all longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2019, discuss themes of literary inventiveness in the face of institutional violence. Chaired by author and prize judge Anna Perera.

Debuting a free to attend children’s programme: Lit Kids

Bare Lit will debut Lit Kids this year, a section of the festival created for under-13s. This will include a comic-drawing workshop by Erin Aniker, storytelling singing with Nadine Wilder Palmer, reading and animation with Nadia Shireen and a talk on the importance of kindness and activism from Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.



Featuring London’s hottest food pop-ups

Stop by Mamasons for Filipino-inspired desserts including their signature purple ube donuts and brownies, whilst Ras el Hanout will be bringing the fresh flavours of Morocco with slow-cooked stews and couscous.

Find out more and buy your tickets here


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