Warsan Shire, Marian Keyes and more join WOW 2022 line-up

30 Nov 2021

Blog Post

Following this weekend’s sold out Shameless! Festival,we are so excited to announce the first of our ticketed events for WOW London 2022, supported by Bloomberg. Taking place from 11-13th March at Southbank Centres, bestselling author Marian Keyes, poet Warsan Shire, comedian Deborah Frances-White and activist Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan will all headline the festival.

On 12 March audiences can join Marian Keyes, the internationally bestselling author of some of the most widely loved, genre-defying novels of the past thirty years. In that time she has used her platform to raise some of the most challenging issues of our time, including addiction, immigration, depression, domestic violence and the Repeal the Eighth campaign. For one night only at WOW, 25 years after the 1.5 million copy bestseller Rachel’s Holiday was published, she will be talking about writing, feminism, joy, expectation and the release of the highly anticipated Again, Rachel - her 15th novel and the sequel to Rachel’s Holiday.

Award-winning Somali British poet and activist Warsan Shire launches her long-awaited first full-length poetry collection Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head in this London exclusive at WOW Festival on 12 March. Warsan is the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King, author of Teaching My Mother House Give Birth and London’s first ever Young Poet Laureate. In her first appearance in the UK since 2015, she will read from the electrifying collection which features poems of migration, womanhood, trauma and resilience; drawing on her own life, pop culture and news headlines. The Saturday evening - featuring guests to be announced - will bring to life Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head.

After over five years of doing stand up comedy as part of her hit podcast The Guilty Feminist to audiences at some of the biggest venues across the UK, Deborah Frances-White will present an intimate evening at WOW on 12 March with her new hour of takes. Revealing some of her most personal “I’m a feminist but…” confessions and sharing stories too intimate for the podcast she invites audiences in to laugh at the patriarchy with her – roar, cheer, rejoice - and leave triumphant.

In an exclusive WOW event on 11 March, writer, poet and activist, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan will launch her new book, Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamophobia. Suhaiymah will be bringing this groundbreaking book to life for the first time. They will explore the ways that Muslim women are specifically violated through Islamophobic focus on what they wear, the languages they speak, the ways they raise children and more; including state-led attempts to regulate and co-opt Muslim women's identities to surveil and discipline Muslims more broadly, damaging everyone in the process. Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamophobia is part of the Outspoken Series published by Pluto.

With the news agenda and world events changing at such rapid speed, WOW has reserved an evening on 12 March to respond to the most up to date and recent happenings that affect gender equality in societies around the world in The Urgent Conversation. The line-up of speakers and topics of discussion will be decided just before the event to ensure it’s absolutely current. The evening will bring together new perspectives from leading contributors, with plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Day Passes are also available to book for Friday and Saturday. A sell out every year, Day Passes give WOW festival goers access to dozens of talks, performances, workshops and more. Individual ticketed events take place every evening and all day on Sunday, alongside a digital programme that will be accessible worldwide The full programme is still to be announced.

Find out more in our WOW London 2022 section.

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