Announcing Deptford Literature Festival, Saturday 19 March 2022


Spread the Word, in a collaboration with independent producer Tom MacAndrew, are pleased to announce Deptford Literature Festival will take place on Saturday 19 March 2022.

Celebrating the diversity and creativity of 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, from avid writers and readers to the curious. 

Spread the Word Director Ruth Harrison says: “As Lewisham becomes Borough of Culture, it is fantastic to be able to come together and celebrate the amazing writing talent we have and the creativity of Deptford’s and Lewisham’s communities through the Deptford Literature Festival. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Deptford and to making Lewisham the place where stories are made and celebrated.” 

Producer Tom MacAndrew says: “After the last eighteen months, the chance to plan something joyous and collaborative, bringing together people from across different age-groups and communities to experience the breadth of Deptford’s writing talent, is hugely exciting. We hope to show off and to celebrate the great literature being created on our doorstep.”

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 with Salma El-Wardany 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 and poetry workshop 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.  

Inclusive children’s bookshop Round Table Books are hosting a day of low-cost family activities at Deptford Lounge children’s library, featuring a number of authors and illustrators leading events for children of different ages. 

Other programme highlights include an audio-walk tracing Deptford’s (in)famous literary history with local author Anna Sayburn Lane, a writing workshop on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary with Leone Ross, 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, an evening celebrating all things Deptford through 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.  

Deptford Literature Festival is funded by Arts Council England with support from the Albany and Deptford Lounge. Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party and surrounding engagement workshops are supported by Lewisham Borough of Culture. 

For more info please visit: or to book tickets, visit our events page.

Published 8 December