BookBound 2020: A Virtual Literary Festival

By Wasafiri Editor on April 22, 2020 in

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with BookBound 2020, a new online literary festival, taking place between Monday 27 April and Sunday 3 May.

Wasafiri is dedicated to transcending the current borders of literary and global culture – be those the borders of race, class, locality, age, and beyond – and the unique combinations of the festival programme speak directly to our aims and ethos. It was a no-brainer getting involved with BookBound 2020, and I’m excited to both contribute to and attend the conversations ahead,’ said Editor and Publishing Director, Malachi McIntosh.

BookBound brings together well-known authors and new voices from around the globe for a week of online stories and conversation. Each exchange will start from a shared topic that unites and has shaped the authors’ works and experiences. Over 50 speakers, in 22 unique pairings, feature in the line-up, with discussions being streamed through BookBound 2020’s YouTube channel.

In a move away from the regular festival format, curators have sought to make new connections between authors in the event pairings across the typical literary divides. Georgie Codd, a first-time author, and founder of BookBound 2020, said: ‘We’re so pleased to be connecting authors who might never have spoken together were it not for the current climate of Covid-19. We have brilliant writers linked by style and theme, bridging geographical gaps of thousands of miles. We also have a group of hosts – including some seriously exciting talents – who are ready to spark some fascinating chats. We’re all bound together by our love of books…’

The conversations will also be co-ordinated by an experienced chair who will help guide the discussions. These include The Allusionist podcast host Helen Zaltzman, author, literary prize winner, and Wasafiri trustee, Romesh Gunesekera and writer and producer Amber Massie-Blomfield. Other varied points of connection throughout the festival include human rights, art theft, wolves, journalism, mental health, and much more. All pre-recorded conversations will be subtitled, and live discussions will be available with closed captions within 24 hours of airing. Throughout the festival, BookBound 2020 will also be fundraising in aid of Mind, the mental health charity. Speakers will also be championing their favourite independent bookshops during the week.

Programme highlights include:

  • Monday 30 April, 19:15: Comedian Robert Webb, best known for Peep Show, and who recently published his first novel Come Again, will be in conversation with author and The Bookseller podcast host Cathy Rentzenbrink
  • Monday 27 April, 17:30: Wasafiri writers Nikesh Shukla and Monique Roffey will be in conversation about writing and teaching creativity
  • Wednesday 29 April, 19:15: Acclaimed American author and co-founder of The Toast website, Daniel Mallory Ortberg will be in conversation with debut New Zealand based author, Rijula Das
  • Saturday 2 May, 19:15: Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy and academic Maya Goodfellow will have a timely conversation around writing, migration and the politics of immigration with our Editor and Publishing Director, Malachi McIntosh
  • Sunday 3 May, 19:15: From New Zealand’s remote West Coast, novelist and journalist Becky Manawatu (Ngāi Tahu) speaks with feminist writer Lola Olufemi in London about activism, feminism, writing and mentors. Becky will also be speaking on behalf of 90-year-old New Zealand literary legend, Renée

Book lovers are invited to submit their questions to the participants of each talk through Twitter @BookBound2020 and Instagram @BookBoundFest using #askBookBound.

To view the programme and to find out more, click here