September 2020 | Alex Johnson

London Cemetery to Host 'Life Lines' Virtual Literary Gathering

Courtesy of Willesden Cemetery

Willesden Cemetery, London.

A new literary event aims to make connections between life stories on the page and those waiting to be discovered in a cemetery. As Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London continues its House of Life project to open to the public as a heritage site, it will host almost certainly the first virtual literary gathering ever convened by a cemetery to showcase life stories.
Authors will appear on Zoom for the ‘Life Lines’ event which runs September 7-13. Sessions will explore different aspects and forms of life story--from biography to eulogy and epitaph--to anchor the idea of Willesden Jewish Cemetery being a place to explore and be inspired by past lives.
Among those taking part are Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson; Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant essay collection; Sally Bayley, author of Girl With Dove: A life built by books; and biographer Jean Strouse.
“Our online literary event gives participants the opportunity to join unexpected conversations between writers from different backgrounds and reflect on the great themes of death and life,” said Hester Abrams, House of Life project leader at Willesden Cemetery and curator of Life Lines. “We’re thrilled that so many brilliant authors have agreed to take part. We are sure it will encourage people to come to the cemetery to be inspired by the lives of those buried there.”
Event details and booking information at: Panel discussions are free and writing workshops, limited to twenty places each, cost £15 (about $20).