Ali Smith to give inaugural Room of One’s Own Lecture

Author Ali Smith

The inaugural A Room of One’s Own Lecture will be given by Ali Smith at Newnham College on 23 April, as part of the Cambridge Literary Festival.

The annual event will offer an opportunity for the foremost women writers of our day to share their work, with the title inspired by Virginia Woolf’s landmark lecture at the college in which she asserted that women need space to be able to write.

A joint initiative between Cambridge Literary Festival and Newnham College, A Room of One’s Own Lecture will explore how far have we come since Woolf said: “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

Inspired by Festival Founder and Director Cathy Moore and founding Honorary Patrons Ali Smith and Dame Professor Gillian Beer, the lecture is supported by the college and by Newnham College Guild of Friends.

Director of Studies in English, Bonnie Lander Johnson, will introduce the lecture. All attendees will receive a commemorative booklet containing the text.

“Newnham College provided space for women to write and answered Woolf’s call with some of the greatest writers of the 20th century,” Dr Lander Johnson said.

The lecture is to be held in the room where Woolf gave her lecture, Clough Hall, and Ali Smith is an alumna herself.

The Cambridge Literary Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and takes place 19-23 April, with writers and speakers to include Maggie O’Farrell, Jacqueline Wilson and Jon Snow.

Find out more and book on the Cambridge Literary festival site.