festival

London Literature Festival

17 – 27 Oct 2019

Bringing new resonance to timeless narratives, Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival returns for its 13th year with an exploration of fairy tales for our times with today's leading writers, thinkers and cultural observers. 

Over 11 days of talks, readings, poetry and performance, the festival features Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, Heather Morris, Lemn Sissay, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Nikki Giovanni, Fatima Bhutto and Jung Chang. 

The festival once again opens with Poetry International, Southbank Centre's longest running festival, founded by Ted Hughes, former poet laureate, in 1967. This year follows the theme of disruption. 

Literature & Poetry events

Find out about some of London's most exciting and high-profile literary events happening all year-round at Southbank Centre.

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all events

Armistead Maupin, writer
7:30 pm
Thu 17 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 17 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The much-loved author recounts his favourite Tales of the City in his first ever UK tour
The much-loved author recounts his favourite Tales of the City in his first ever UK tour
On sale soon
Heaux Noire illustration
6:30 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
6:30 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Listen up as womxn* of colour share their stories through poetry and music
Listen up as womxn* of colour share their stories through poetry and music
On sale soon
Ayelet Gunder-Goshen, author
7:00 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
What is power in the age of #MeToo? The award-winning novelist discusses her latest novel, Liar
What is power in the age of #MeToo? The award-winning novelist discusses her latest novel, Liar
On sale soon
Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

8:15 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
8:15 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Reflect on self-expression and Britishness at this discussion on Sissay’s new memoir
Reflect on self-expression and Britishness at this discussion on Sissay’s new memoir
On sale soon
Jung Chang, author

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

2:00 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Delve into the gripping secrets of 20th-century China in this talk with the acclaimed author
Delve into the gripping secrets of 20th-century China in this talk with the acclaimed author
On sale soon
Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman, writers

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Discuss the themes of the groundbreaking essay collection with those who edited and contributed to it
Discuss the themes of the groundbreaking essay collection with those who edited and contributed to...
On sale soon
Break dancers

Free

Free

10:30 am
Mon 21 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Red shoes not required for a free dance and music workshop on all things fairy tale
Red shoes not required for a free dance and music workshop on all things fairy tale
A child colouring at a workshop

Free

Free

Various times
21 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
Various times | 21 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
tours & activities
family & young people
Set off on a do-it-yourself adventure for families, as magical as the words ‘once upon a time’
Set off on a do-it-yourself adventure for families, as magical as the words ‘once upon a time’
Photo of children and adults joining in a dance workshop together at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
family & young people
Put your fairy tale moves into practice on our dance floor, after your free workshop
Put your fairy tale moves into practice on our dance floor, after your free workshop
Kishani Widyaratna, editor
7:00 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
On sale soon

Pages

all stories

Enjoy fantastic fiction and powerful prose selected by literary experts.
Your best photos and tweets from this year's events
Enjoy some of the highlights of last year’s festival, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom Hanks
Hear the DJ and visual artist in a candid discussion about his life and work
Enjoy an exclusive podcast, featuring readings and discussion on the life of the great politician, from a host of big names.
Hear the author discuss his latest work, La Belle Sauvage, in this exclusive podcast
Get to know Nordic Noir in our short interview with the Finnish crime writer
All you need to know about one of Philip Pullman’s most fascinating characters.
All you need to know about this year’s packed programme
Listen to highlights of Hillary Rodham Clinton's exclusive London appearance at Southbank Centre
The team at National Poetry Library pick out their Anne Carson must reads
Dive into 50 years of Poetry International with Chris McCabe and Sophie Mayer
The Handmaid’s Tale author on the real world her novel reflects
Listen to the tracks that take Goldie back
The drum & bass stalwart is back with his third artist album and his second autobiography
See how Hillary Rodham Clinton went from First Lady of the United States, to the cusp of Presidency
Discover more about the author ahead of his appearance at London Literature Festival
Read how photographer Annie Leibovitz considers her work on Women never done.
Use our timeline to discover what our experts predict will take place over the century to come

Multi-buy ticket offers

Book three or more literature and poetry events in the same transaction and receive a 25% discount. Selected events only.

To take advantage of our multi-buy offers look out for literature and poetry events displaying the yellow multi-buy label. You will be able to navigate back to the full list of events in each multi-buy by clicking the links below the titles on event pages or the multi-buy links in the 'what's on' listings. 

see what's on

literature stories

story
Take the chance to hear from authors, writers and publishers in a series of intimate short talks
story
See who’s joining us at this year’s festival and Poetry International
podcast
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures with Akala and David Olusoga