Welcome to the Oxford Literary Festival

We are delighted that FT Weekend is the new title sponsor of the Oxford Literary Festival. As one of the greatest and most authoritative newspapers in the world, FT Weekend provides the festival with a unique global reach and reinforces our major international partnerships with the University of Oxford, the BBC and HSBC.

This year’s festival presents a powerful line-up of novelists including the Nobel Prize winner from Turkey, Orhan Pamuk (delivering the Chancellor’s Lecture), and five Booker Prize winners: Eleanor Catton (2013); John Banville (2005); Margaret Atwood (2000), who will speak at the HSBC festival closing dinner; Ian McEwan (1998), who will deliver the Bodley Lecture; and Ben Okri (1991), who will give the inaugural Gibraltar Lecture.

The festival’s opening weekend features many speakers from the USA for our annual tribute to American literature and culture; while our new partnership with the Kolkata Literary Meet is celebrated with Indian speakers and events during the week. There are again over 500 speakers from more than 20 countries, and a special day featuring talks on Italian literature and life.

We greatly appreciate the tremendous support of the Bodley’s Librarian, Richard Ovenden. The Bodleian Libraries have become the festival’s cultural partner as a prelude to the opening of the magnificent Weston Building in the Spring of 2015. HSBC have renewed their exceptional foundation sponsorship, supporting a key programme of events on leadership and women in society and the prestigious closing dinner at Christ Church, which will be hosted by Antonio Simoes, deputy chief executive of HSBC Bank plc.

Blackwell’s have committed vital new resources to the festival, becoming our online as well as on-site bookseller and sponsoring a large marquee between the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bodleian Library. The marquee will include the festival bookshop, ticket office, café and bar – a wonderful social hub and meeting place.

We welcome The Savoy as our London Hotel partner; the Oxford Martin School as the festival’s ideas partner; and thank Ian and Carol Sellars, Sir Martin Smith and Dr Elise Becket Smith, Paul and Marlene Oberschneider, and Eileen and Dr Munir Majid for their generous support of the festival.

As the only one of the ‘big four’ literary festivals in Britain to receive no state or public funding or grant, we are deeply grateful to all our sponsors and partners who make the festival possible as well as to the festival’s many voluntary stewards and helpers.

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival has a remarkable atmosphere of excitement, curiosity and revelation. We look forward to sharing it with you over nine days, with all events staged in some of the most historic and beautiful university buildings in Europe.

Sally Dunsmore
Festival Director