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Preview: Stoke Newington Literary Festival, 5-7 June

Popular literary festival returns this month to various Hackney venues

NOW in it’s sixth year, the Stoke Newington Literary Festival keeps getting bigger and better. This year’s programme, running from 5 to 7 June, has something for everyone.

Still fired up by the election? Columnist Will Hutton casts a critical eye over our political landscape in conversation with Owen Jones, while journalist, author and one of the country’s most outspoken thinkers on multiculturalism, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, is also talking at the event.

Looking for a laugh? Funny woman finalist and Radio 4 star Viv Groskop is performing her stand-up show, while one of Britain’s best TV comedy writers Jesse Armstrong ('Peep Show', 'The Thick of It', 'Fresh Meat') talks to Guardian columnist Zoe Williams.

Have to be in bed before then? Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen might be more your scene. Along with illustrator Neal Layton, he’ll be talking to young audiences about his new book, while craft and singing workshops for small people pepper the rest of the festival programme. 

Foodie fans will be tempted by award-winning food writer Diana Henry’s talk, and feminists, meanwhile, are catered for at a ‘Deadlier That The Male’ event examining the relationship between extreme violence and women in crime fiction. While activist and journalist Caroline Criado-Perez looks at how women around the world are reinventing what it means to be female in cultures where power, privilege or basic freedoms are too often equated with being male. 

For music lovers, there's journalist Mark Ellen, author of 'Rock Stars Stole My Life!' in conversation with fellow music obsessive Danny Kelly. Plus Everything But The Girl frontwoman and author of 'Bedsit Disco Queen', Tracey Thorn, talking about her memoirs and the simultaneous joy and terror of performing live.

The line-up also features big hitters Will Self and Fay Weldon talking about their literary careers and latest work.

Dig further into the programme and you’ll find material for gardeners, historians, squatters, bloggers and aesthetes. And if by some miracle you don’t fall into any of those categories, they’ve still got you covered: there’s a pub quiz for ‘Game of Thrones’ fans on 5 June at The Prince too. 

This year, the festival has a strong emphasis on activities for children and young people, so fittingly, events kick off on 4 June with a day long mini day festival at William Patten Primary School in Church Street.