World Book Day in Hackney

wbd_logo_09_wwwnbt_rgbThursday March 5th 2009 is World Book Day, but only in Hackney, the other parts of the UK and in Ireland. The rest of the world celebrates World Book Day on 23rd April, coincidentally both William Shakespeare’s and Johnny Mackintosh’s birthdays, but here in the British Isles we like to ignore our famous sons and do things a little differently.

Hackney is close to where I live in London. Shakespeare’s original theatre is there, where he performed in person as well as having his plays first staged (before it was dismantled and the timbers used to construct The Globe on London’s south bank). Nowadays it’s home to another theatre, the famous Hackney Empire, and is represented in Parliament by Diane Abbott MP (a regular on my favourite telly show, This Week).

Throughout its history it’s been a haven for free-thinkers, partly because it’s just five miles outside the centre of historic London which meant people were able to give speeches there criticizing the state and the church that weren’t allowed any closer in (by an Act of Parliament long before Diane Abbott’s time).

It’s also where I shall be giving a little talk on World Book Day. I hope this shan’t be too subversive, even though I’ll explain how time travel is possible and why aliens are almost certain to exist in our galaxy, as well as discussing whether or not there was ever a real place called Atlantis.

hackney-museum-libraryIf you want to listen and even get yourself a signed copy of Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London, make your way to the Hackney Museum and Library for 4.30pm. The full address is

Hackney Museum

1 Reading Lane

London E1 1GQ

The event’s been organized by the fabulous Victoria Park Books and I’ll be there until around 6.30 and will be talking with two other writers, Belinda Hollyer and Gaby Halberstam. For younger readers, there’ll be some other authors too: David Lucas, Kevin Waldron, Carolyn Hink, Guy Bass and Will Gatti. We all look forward to meeting you.
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~ by keithmansfield on March 2, 2009.

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