March 15th 5x15 - 5 speakers, 15 minutes each
John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph’s television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His book, A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His 2007 historical novel THE DIG has been adapted into a new major motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James and directed by Simon Stone, released in select UK cinemas and available to stream globally on Netflix from January 2021. Hi most recent book is The Fall which tells the jaw-dropping life story of notorious business tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. She won the Costa Book of the Year award 2021, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Encore Award, and she won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. She is a Lecturer on the Novel MFA at Manchester Metropolitan University and has also taught creative writing and mentored emerging writers in Trinidad for several years, for COSTAATT, the OCM Bocas Literature Festival, and privately in Port of Spain. Monique is an active member of Extinction Rebellion, and a co-founder of Writers Rebel, an initiative set up to encourage writers to address the climate emergency in their work. In October 2019, she and Writers Rebel organised for 40 writers and poets, including Ali Smith, Naomi Alderman and Salena Godden, to speak in Trafalgar Square as part of Extinction Rebellion’s October Uprising. The Mermaid of Black Conch is her seventh book, and first love story.
Lee Lawrence is a social entrepreneur who works to help marginalised people find their voice, manage conflict and achieve justice. In 2014, he founded Mobility Enterprises with the hope of aiding those who would otherwise struggle in their daily life by providing public transport for the disabled. In 2016, he founded the Cherry Groce Foundation which exists to enhance the wellbeing of individuals with a physical or mental impairment.
Michael Rosen is a beloved author, former Children’s Laureate and national treasure. In Many Different Kinds of Love: Life, Death and The NHS he brings together a collection of the words and poetry he wrote during his battle with and recovery from COVID-19, along with the messages he received from his wife and caregivers. In this reflective and life-affirming collection of poetry and words, Michael shares his experience from the edge of life, and the caring community of neighbours, loved ones, and the dedicated NHS staff, who brought him back.
Thomasina Miers is a cook, food writer and television presenter, an entrepreneur and the co-founder and Executive Chef of Wahaca Restaurants - cooking fresh food inspired by the food markets of Mexico, using free-range meat, sustainable fish and recycling everything down to its food waste. She is the author of five books, including Wahaca. In addition to the day-to-day running of the restaurants, Tommi is a passionate supporter of slow, seasonal food, and local markets. She wholeheartedly and vocally supports the Fish Fight campaign and recently cooked insects in Oxford for the Grand Banquet of Rainforest Insects amidst the Ghost Forest trees with experts in the field of food security. Tommi and Tristram Stuart launched a new campaign, 'The Pig Idea', which aims to reverse the ban on feeding catering waste to pigs. As part of the campaign, the Feeding the 5000 team in partnership with Wahaca Mexican Restaurants reared 8 pigs in London's very own Stepney City Farm.