Through the Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping at Small Wonder Festival, Charleston House, Saturday 14 October, 6pm

In 1971, a young Derek Jarman wrote his first and only piece of narrative fiction, Through the Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping. The surreal, lyrical tale, which has remained unpublished until now, was described by the Turner Prize-nominated artist as ‘autobiographical although deeply buried’.

In this special event marking what would have been the artist, author and film-maker’s 80th year, hear original audio recordings of Jarman reading the story and join the book’s publisher Jess Chandler and author, director and friend of Jarman, Neil Bartlett in a fascinating discussion. Chairing the event is Jarman scholar Declan Wiffen.

Neil Bartlett

Neil Bartlett has been working as a director, performer and author since the early 1980’s. His novels have been shortlisted for both the Whitbread and Costa Awards, and his most recent fiction was the acclaimed suite of short stories ‘Address Book’ (2021). A friend and colleague of Derek Jarman, he wrote the introduction for the final volume of Jarman’s journals, Smiling in Slow Motion.

Jess Chandler

Jess Chandler is a publisher and editor and runs the independent publishing houses Prototype and House Sparrow Press. She was a co-founder of Test Centre, which ran from 2011 to 2018, publishing innovative works of poetry and fiction. She has worked as an editor at Reaktion Books, as a researcher and producer on factual television programmes and was the Digital Editor of Poetry London for six years.

Declan Wiffen

Declan Wiffen is a writer and teacher based in Kent. He is part of the artist collective Queer Estuary; collaborator on The Unfiltered Coast, a project engaging young people in coastal climate change; organiser of the workshop series Cruising Nature; and editor of Litmus: the lichen issue.

◔ Saturday 15 October, 6pm

⍞ Tickets £14

⍞ 15% discount for students, disabled visitors, universal credit recipients and green travellers who arrive by public transport, by bike or on foot.

⍞ Sign up to the Under 30 scheme to access a limited number of £10 tickets.

◎ This event is held indoors in the Hay Barn.

◔ Doors open 30 minutes before the event start time. Our house, garden, exhibition galleries and shop open at 10am and will be open throughout the festival. Make a day of it, book your tickets here.