One Day in the City

2012 Highlights

Welcome to the UCL Festival of London and Literature

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Invisible City

The Invisible City


Man Booker Prize Evening

Man Booker Prize Evening: A.S. Byatt and Alan Hollinghurst

Come and listen to two of Britain's most highly-acclaimed novelists, Man Booker Prize-winning A.S. Byatt and Alan Hollinghurst, reflect on London and Literature. Both authors will read excerpts of their favourite London writing and discuss how the city influences and inspires their writing and their lives. Joining A.S. Byatt and Alan Hollinghurst in conversation will be John Mullan, head of UCL's Department of English and one-time Man Booker Prize Judge. More...

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Keynote Address: Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit

We are extremely excited that Iain Sinclair, one of London's most revered commentators, novelists, and poets, has agreed to give the opening address at UCL's Festival of London and Literature. After this he will be in conversation with the celebrated filmmaker and novelist, Chris Petit, and our very own Professor Iain Borden.

London: A History in Verse

London: A History in Verse

The poet and UCL Professor in English and American Literature, Mark Ford, will be joined by Daljit Nagra, Sarah Maguire, and Alan Jenkins to launch this wonderful  edition of London verse: London: A History in Verse. "Mark Ford has assembled the most capacious and wide-ranging anthology of poems about London to date, from Chaucer to Wordsworth to the present day, providing a chronological tour of urban life and of English literature." Edited by Mark Ford and published by Harvard University Press. Copies will be available. More...

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Panel 3a: Nightwalking

A showing of William Raban's short film, The Houseless Shadow, followed by a conversation between

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Debate: Living and Writing in London

The afternoon will conclude and the evening begin with a lively debate on what makes London a writers' city. Join the poets Daljit Nagra and Salena Godden, and the novelists Alex Preston and Adam Thirlwell, as they debate how London and writing about London has inspired their own work and lives. As an introduction to this event, a number of young writers working with the charity, First Story, will read some work coming out of creative writing workshops held earlier in the day. More...

Fog on the Thames (Iain Borden)

Panel 3c: Architexture

Chair: Kasia Boddy

Parkour (Andy Day)

Panel 3b: Run, Jump, Shoot

On 19 May the RIBA held a very successful half-day workshop, where Assistant Curator of Photographs Justine Sambrook and freelance photographer Andy Day ( explored new ways of seeing and experiencing architecture through the medium of photography and the urban sport parkour. The workshop began with a visit to the RIBA's world-class photographic archive and concluded with a hands-on session led by Day, during which participants had an opportunity to shoot on location with professional parkour athletes.  More...

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Panel 2c: Working in the City

Chair: Hope Wolf
Jonathan Black, An Alien Race on our Streets? The Costermonger in pre-First World War British Literature and Painting More...

Homeless Man (Richard Morgan)

Panel 2b: Contested Spaces

Chair: Michael Stewart
Luke Davies, Writing Homelessness in London: 1903-1933

Underground Escalator (Iain Borden)

Panel 2a: Conceptual City

Chair: Greg Dart

Maaike Anne Stevens Archigrams (Series) 2008/9

Panel 1c: Urban Technologies

Chair: David Roberts

Doris Bremm, Visualizing London: Using Digital Mapping Tools in the English Composition Classroom More...

Politics of Space

Panel 1b: The Politics of Space

Chair: Matthew Ingleby

Hilary Powell and Isaac Marrero, The Art of Dissent: London's Olympic State

Isabelle Southwood

Panel 1a: Walking the City

Chair: Jane Darcy

Parkour (Andy Day)

Run, Jump, Shoot

On 19 May 2012 there was a half-day workshop where Assistant Curator of Photographs Justine Sambrook and freelance photographer Andy Day explored new ways of seeing and experiencing architecture through the medium of photography and the urban sport parkour. More...

First Story Reading

First Story Creative Writing Workshops

We are very proud to be working in partnership with First Story to offer a number of creative writing workshops on 15 June 2012. Both Daljit Nagra and Salena Godden will be working alongside volunteers and teachers to guide schoolchildren through the creative writing process. The children will begin the day in the British Museum, where they will be inspired by an artefact; they will proceed to Senate House Library where the writing workshops will take place; and in the afternoon they will make their way to UCL where some of  the writing will be performed alongside that of novelists Adam Thirlwell and Will Self. More...

British Museum

Poetry and the British Museum

Professor Mark Ford will explore poems such as Keats’ great sonnet ‘On Seeing the Elgin Marbles’, and consider the importance of the Museum and its Reading Room for poets from Arthur Rimbaud and Ezra Pound to Louis MacNeice and William Empson. More...