5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 20th Nov 2017
5 speakers, 15 minutes each
Ben Okri is a Nigerian poet and novelist considered one of the finest African writers within the postcolonial tradition. He has published many books, including The Famished Road, which won the Booker Prize, and The Age of Magic. He has also written several poetry collections, including An African Elegy, Mental Fight and Wild. His work has been translated into 27 languages and has won numerous international prizes. ABOUT THE EVENT & THE BOOK Ben Okri leads special guests in an evening of poetry and protest. On the evening of 11th July at Conway Hall in central London a special event is planned to celebrate Booker Prize winner Ben Okri’s new book Rise Like Lions: Poetry for the Many, a new collection for which he has selected 100 poems from around the world that celebrate the many voices of politics, from polemics to meditations, from Shakespeare to Bob Marley. Many of these poems have resonated with readers over lifetimes and through generations, from William Blake to Marvin Gaye. In exploring the impact political poems have on ideas, vision, protest, change and truth, Okri demonstrates how the need for this strand of poetry is as great as it has ever been, and its inspiration just as powerful. Readers include:
- Writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali - has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review.
- David Calder - much loved actor who recently appeared in the movie The Lady in the Van and as Julius Caesar in the Nicholas Hytner's Julius Caesar, at the Bridge Theatre.
- Columnist and author Laurie Penny - has contributed articles to publications such as The Guardian, and the Next Statesman, and has written two books on feminism.
- Helena Kennedy, a barrister, broadcaster and Labour member of the House of Lords.
Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of more than 80,000 women's daily experiences of gender inequality. She is now an award-winning campaigner and a leading voice on women's issues.
Ruth Rogers was born in New York City in 1948. She was educated at The Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Bennington College, and the London College of Printing. Ruth worked in the art department of Penguin books with David Pelham and later at Piano and Rogers Architects in Paris. Ruth and Rose Gray opened The River Cafe in 1987. The restaurant has been awarded the ‘Best Italian Restaurant of the Year’ and a Michelin Star in 1997, which they have retained ever since. In 1995 Ruth published her first cookbook with Rose Gray, The River Café Cookbook, and presented a 12-part series for Channel 4, The Italian Kitchen. They published a further 10 cookbooks, all of which have been on the best seller list. In 2010, Ruth was awarded an MBE. She is on the panel of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award and is a trustee for the charities Refuge and Index on Censorship. Ruth also supports Maggie’s, The Dyslexia Institute and Democrats Abroad. River Cafe 30 by Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli was published in October 2017 marking 30 years since the River Cafe first opened its doors. Quotes about: River Cafe 30 ‘a beautifully designed cookbook that offers classic and new recipes from the restaurant’ Metro `Now, you can recreate The River Café’s best-loved dishes’ Jamie magazine 'one of the most beautiful hardbacks we've ever seen' Evening Standard
James Young is a broadcaster and television presenter. In 2012, a tragic accident led to him losing his left arm and half of his left leg. James saw an advert by the Konami gaming company looking for someone to be the recipient of a high-tech, bespoke prosthetic limb, he applied and was the winner from applicants from across the world. Over many months he worked closely with the team to design his bionic arm. In Can Robots Love Us? shown on BBC 3 in September James investigates how robots are being developed to engage with us on an emotional level and explores the limits of the human-robot connection.
Rachel Clarke is an NHS hospital doctor who specialises in caring for patients at the end of life. She originally studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at university. Prior to her career in medicine, she worked as a television journalist, producing and directing current affairs documentaries on subjects such as Al Qaeda, the Gulf War and the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, before deciding at the age of 29 to retrain as a doctor. When the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, sought to impose a new contract upon junior doctors, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government, arguing in print and on screen that imposition would irrevocably damage the NHS.
John Lloyd is a television producer and writer. He created Not the Nine O'Clock News and Spitting Image, and produced all four series of Blackadder. More recently, he has co-produced BBC2's QI, and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Museum of Curiosity. A friend of the late Douglas Adams, Lloyd also co-wrote several episodes of Adams' lauded radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. His forthcoming book is Afterliff a follow up to The Meaning of Liff co-written with Douglas Adams in 1983. The book uses place names to describe the many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist. This text uses place names to describe some of these meanings.