5x15 - 5 Speakers, 15 Minutes Each - June 2022

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Join us in June for an online evening of extraordinary true-life stories, beautiful books and the finest new fiction

Geoff Dyer
The Last Days of Roger Federer

Geoff Dyer is a ‘national treasure’ (Zadie Smith): the award-winning author of ten non-fiction books and four novels, including Out of Sheer Rage and Yoga for People Who Can’t be Bothered to Do It, which have been translated into 24 languages worldwide. He is currently Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California. In THE LAST DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER, he turns his attention to last things - the last days and last achievements of writers, painters, athletes and musicians from J.W Turner to Bob Dylan to Roger Federer himself. Could it be that our deepest desire is for it all to be over?

Leila Mottley

Leila Mottley has been hailed as ‘the voice of a generation’. An acclaimed youth poet, her first novel, NIGHTCRAWLING, was bought in a thirteen-way auction in the States, a nine-way auction in the UK and has already sold into eight languages. Inspired by a true scandal underpinning the police department in Oakland, California, Mottley’s home town, it is an unforgettable novel about young people navigating the darkest corners of an adult world, told with a humanity that is at once agonising and utterly mesmerising.

Jackie Morris
Feather, Leaf, Bark and Stone

Jackie Morris is an award-winning British writer and illustrator. Morris studied at the Bath Academy of Art and started her career as an illustrator by working for magazines including Radio Times, New Statesman, New Society and Country Living. She has illustrated 38 books, and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016 for Something About a Bear.

Morris is best known for the stunning The Lost Words (2017), co-written with Robert Macfarlane – a love song to many increasingly rare words pertaining to nature and the natural world. These illustrations earned Morris the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2019. In 2017, The Lost Words was shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year and won the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year in 2018. Morris and Macfarlane’s second collaboration, The Lost Spells, was published in October 2020.

Jonathan Freedland
The Escape Artist

Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. He also writes a monthly piece for the Jewish Chronicle and is a regular contributor to a range of US publications, including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. In 2008 he was awarded the David Watt Prize for Journalism, having been named ‘Columnist of the Year’ in the What the Papers Say awards for 2002. He is the author of seven books. The first, Bring Home the Revolution, was both acclaimed, winning a Somerset Maugham Award, and controversial. The book was later adapted into a TV series for BBC Two. Since 2006 he has published five best-selling novels under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. The Righteous Men became a Number One bestseller in the UK and went on to win a Gold Book Award after selling more than 500,000 copies. It has been translated into 30 languages. He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford – where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and edited the university newspaper, Cherwell – and, earlier, at University College School, London.

Alexandre Antonelli
The Hidden Universe

Professor Alexandre Antonelli is the Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is also Professor in Biodiversity and Systematics at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and was the founder and first Director of the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, established during his time as Scientific Curator of the Gothenburg Botanical Garden.

Antonelli’s passion is nature, and his mission is to stop biodiversity loss. To tackle this major challenge, he studies the distribution and evolution of species and develops methods to speed up scientific discovery. His research focuses on the tropics, where most species occur and the threats are most acute. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters and his work has been cited over 13,000 times.

In 2020, Antonelli led the development of a new science mission and strategy for Kew, which defined how Kew scientists will tackle biodiversity loss and help to address global challenges using plant and fungi-based solutions.

He is married with three children.