How the printed word changes the world
This autumn we celebrate the power of words to change the world for the better. Concentrating on the themes of freedom, justice and democracy, we celebrate the optimism of the human spirit and the ability of the arts to celebrate and transform lives.
At the centre of this year’s London Literature Festival is a tribute to the writer Maya Angelou who died in May. She believed: ‘If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.’ The passionate belief that the arts have the power to transform lives, and should be available to all, lies at the heart of everything we do. So come and join us as we welcome some of the world’s finest writers and performers: Hilary Mantel, Stephen Fry, Alice Oswald, Kate Tempest, John Cooper Clarke, Colm Tóibín and Elif Shafak.
We celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of William Burroughs with an extravaganza that includes a specially commissioned cantata from Gavin Bryars and contemplate what a life without the power of the printed word might be like in a rehearsed reading of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451.
We’ve also commissioned a new poem by Alice Oswald, Freedom Play by Craig Taylor and we welcome Paines Plough Theatre Company’s production of one hundred short plays from all over the United Kingdom: Come to Where I’m From. This, like many of our other events all over the site, is completely free.
Tom Phillips: Illuminated Tweets
A exhibition tracking Tom Phillips' A Humument through its recent incarnations across digital platforms.Art
The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2014
Queen Elizabeth Hall
The annual prize-giving ceremony for the Forward Prizes for PoetryLiterature
Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me
Presented by David Johnson & John Mackay with Penguin
Royal Festival Hall
A live event to mark the publication of Stephen Fry's brand new volume of memoirs.Literature
National Poetry Day Live
The Clore Ballroom
Southbank Centre and The Poetry Society celebrate National Poetry Day.Literature
The Pity: Modern Responses to War
Presented by the Poetry Society
Four of the UK's most exciting poets premiere work about the First World War.Literature
Michael Donaghy - A Celebration
A celebration of the life and work of Michael Donaghy.Literature
Shami Chakrabarti - On Liberty
On 11 September 2001, our world changedLiterature
Are you a poet or spoken-word artist who would like to share your work in progress? Southbank Centre aims to support artists in the development of ...Literature
Jonathan Powell - Talking to Terrorists
How to End Armed Conflicts
Should governments talk to terrorists? Should they 'negotiate with evil'? After Labour achieved its landslide victory in 1997, Jonathan Powell spe ...Literature