Hear fifty of the greatest international love poems from the last 50 years.

In this unprecedented event, the Royal Festival Hall stage will be filled with a cast of 50 leading actors and poets from across the globe to form an orchestra of readers, each reading one of the greatest love poems from the last 50 years.

Poems have been selected from 30 countries around the world, from Saint Lucia to Iraqi Kurdistan and there will be readings in Arabic, Turkish, Macedonian and Tamil, with English translations.

Poems will include Celia, Celia read by the subject of the poem, Adrian Mitchell's second wife Celia Hewitt, and The Present, read by Michael Donaghy's widow Maddy Paxman.

Readers include Harriet Walter, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ray Fearon, Don Paterson, Alice Orr-Ewing, Guy Paul, Imtiaz Dharker, Hubert Burton, Sasha Dugdale, Rachel Shelly, Sujata Bhatt, Emily Bruni, Patsy Ferran, Nikola Madzirov, Siobhan Redmond, Warsan Shire, Chipo Chung, Noma Dumezweni, Amjad Nasser, Claire Rafferty, Sabrina Mahfouz, Neet Mohan, Kutti Revathi, Sudha Bhuchar, Katharine Kilalea, Daniel Weyman, Ashjan Al Hendi, Jessica Murrain, Chris McCabe, Branka Kati, Tom Wentworth, Katherine Kingsley and Philip Cowell.


Langston Hughes (US) The Dream Keeper

Fifty poems

Michael Donaghy (US) The Present
Naomi Shihab Nye (Palestine-US) Shoulders
Philippe Jaccottet (France) Distances
Tadeusz Rózewicz (Poland) A Sketch for a Modern Love
Billy Collins (US) Night Club
Nâzim Hikmet (Turkey) Things I didn't know I loved
Margaret Atwood (Canada) Variations on the Word Love
Mutsuo Takahashi (Japan) Dove
Anna Swir (Poland) Thank-you, My Fate
Lawrence Bradby (UK) If Your Faith in Me Should Fail
Mary Oliver (USA) Wild Geese
Anat Zecharaya (Israel) A Woman of Valour
Karlis Verdins (Latvia) Come to Me
Doina Ioanid (Romania) The Yellow Dog
Ana Ristovic (Serbia) Circling Zero
Katharine Kilalea (South Africa) You were a bird
Ted Hughes (UK) Lovesong
Kim Addonizio (USA) You Don't Know What Love Is
Kim Hyesoon (Korea) A Hole
Choman Hardi (Iraqi Kurdistan) Summer Roof
Carolyn Kizer (USA) Bitch
Nina Cassian (Romania) Lady of Miracles
Don Paterson (Scotland) My Love
Ashjan Al Hendi (Saudi Arabia) In search of the Other
Edwin Morgan (Scotland) Strawberries
Chinua Achebe (Nigeria) Love Song (for Anna)
Muriel Rukeyser (USA) Looking at Each Other
Linton Kwesi Johnson (UK/Jamaica) Hurricane Blues
Tracy K. Smith (US) Duende
Warsan Shire (UK) For women who are difficult to love
Frank O'Hara (USA) Having a Coke With You
Adrian Mitchell (UK) Celia Celia
Jackie Kay (Scotland) Her
Maya Angelou (USA) Come. And Be My Baby
Kutti Revathi (India) Breasts
Sujata Bhatt (India) Love in a Bathtub
Annabelle Despard (Norway) Should You Die First
Alice Oswald (UK) Wedding
Valzhyna Mort (Belarus) Love
Nikola Madzirov (Macedonia) When Someone Goes Away Everything That's Been Done Comes Back
Iman Mersal (Eygpt) Love
Sinéad Morrissey (Ireland) Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Kei Miller (Jamaica) Epilogue
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Pakistan) Before You Came
W. S. Merwin (USA) In Time
Arundhathi Subramaniam (India) Prayer
Yves Bonnefoy (France) A stone
Ko Un (South Korea) Snowfall
Amjad Nasser (Jordan) A Song and Three Questions
Vikram Seth (India) All You who Sleep Tonight


Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia) Love After Love

Please note poems may change, subject to copyright