2022 festival line-up features Richard Dawkins, Zadie Smith, Joanna Lumley, Delia Smith, Donna Leon

Festival launches 2022 line-up

Oxford Literary Festival returns this spring for its 25th anniversary event with a line-up that features a host of names from literature, the arts, science and lifestyle, including actresses Joanna Lumley and Maureen Lipman, scientists Richard Dawkins and Martin Rees, novelists Zadie Smith and Donna Leon, and cookery legend Delia Smith.

Lumley talks about the true meaning of ‘compassion’, her love of animals and the natural world, and about her animal welfare campaigning, while Lipman features with jazz singer Norma Winstone, pianist Christian Garrick and poet Jeremy Robson in a celebratory evening of readings, music and poetry to mark the 25th Oxford Literary Festival.

Delia Smith  talks about her life and career in cookery and about a new book in which she encourages us to think more deeply about our existence

Dawkins talks about his new book, Flights of Fancy, and Rees, the Astronomer Royal, about the future prospects for humanity. Other scientists appearing include well known broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili on the joy of science, and public health expert Muir Gray. 

Novelists appearing this year include Zadie Smith, who receives the prestigious Bodley Medal, Penelope Lively, Freya North, Wendy Holden, Howard Jacobson, and crimewriters Donna Leon, Val McDermid and Charlie Higson, whose event launches a new festival crime fiction programme.   

Philosopher A C Grayling talks about how to get humanity to agree on a set of values, and the world of politics is represented by former Labour leader Ed Miliband on bold solutions to fix our world, former foreign secretary David Owen on British-Russian relations, and anti apartheid campaigner Peter Hain on his memoirs.

Geographer and BBC Coast presenter Nicholas Crane talks about the ten-year quest to find the length of one degree of latitude, leading US sociologist Chris Bail discusses the polarising effect of social media, and economist Mariana Mazzucato argues that government needs to create a sense of public purpose to meet the big challenges of the age.

Meanwhile, this year's Oxford debates are headed by a discussion on 'toppling statues and fallen idols'.


Jacqueline Wilson, Katherine Rundell and Lemony Snicket lined up for family events

Events for children, young people and families include former children's laureate and Tracy Beaker creator Jacqueline Wilson and award-winnng children's writer Katherine Rundell.

International bestseller Lemony Snicket makes a first appearance at the festival with A Series of Unfortunate Events,  and there are also appearances by broadcaster and dinosaur expert Ben Garrod, and Fantastically Great Women author Kate Pankhurst.

The world of Harry Potter will once again be celebrated with a special event in the Sheldonian Theatre to mark 25 years of the Harry Potter books. 


Tickets are on sale on this website or by telephoning the box office at 0333 666 3366 (a booking fee of £1.80 applies to purchases made through the telephone box office).



The Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

The Telegraph Festival media partner University of Oxford Netflix European Union Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the UK Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme BBC World Service International radio partner Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Oxford Mathematics Spanish Embassy The Spanish Embassy: supporters of the programme of Spanish literature and culture Cervantes Institute, London The Cervantes Institute, London Italian Embassy The Italian Embassy: supporter of the programme of Italian literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner International Literary Properties Festival literary heritage partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Festival hotel Old Bank Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Old Parsonage Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Jim Mellon John Roberts Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture Tim and Marion Stevenson Martin and Elise Becket Smith Miles Young Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Carole and John Allen David Isaac Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Anna Hunter Rhys and Kerry Phillip Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival. Founded 1314 New College New College founded 1379 Worcester College Worcester College founded 1714 Lincoln College Lincoln College founded 1427 St Cross College St Cross College founded 1965 Trinity College Trinity College founded 1555 Magdalen College Magdalen College founded 1458 Critchleys Accountants to the festival Pasture to Plate Compassion in World Farming Human Ecology Project MACROVegan Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner. Celebrating 25 years in Europe in 2024 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sponsor of the EBRD Literature Prize since 2018 ROOMS Georgia's leading lifestyle hotel brand since 2012. Supporters of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Jewish Book Week Partner of Oxford Literary Festival Foodbuy Thje Menu Partners Institute of Hospitality Goldmoney Properties Project People Oxford Brookes University Oxford International Centre for Publishing Confucius Institute Pusey House British Academy Festival academic partner Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford United Football Club Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Paul Bloomfield Ltd University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Conference Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates CAV Oxford The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Images Oxford University Images Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Oxford Georgian Translation Project Supporter of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Force4Good Consultancy Corporate communications OX magazine Ox in a Box K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography The Litmus Partnership Schoolreaders Windrush Group James Currey Society