festival

London Literature Festival

18 Oct 2018 - 28 Oct 2018

Now in its twelfth year, Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival brings together today’s leading writers, thinkers and cultural observers to explore the burning issues of our times. 

This year we invite you on a journey across centuries and borders to celebrate the power of literature to reflect on the world in which we live. Our journey takes in everything from a celebration of Homer’s Odyssey to an examination of contemporary America in the lead-up to the midterm elections. 

At the heart of the festival is a celebration of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, marking its first-ever translation into English by a woman, Emily Wilson. This timeless classic is explored through live readings, talks and workshops with writers from Mary Beard to Madeline Miller. The theme of homeland and journeys continues in appearances from leading writers including Esi Edugyan, Aida Edemariam and Mohsin Hamid. 

We delve into the political and social landscapes of contemporary America with events including a rare appearance from Salman Rushdie discussing his provocative new novel and author Marilynne Robinson advocating the value of hope, and talks on topics from the American Dream to feminism in Trump's America. 

Other highlights include exclusive memoir launches from the Who's frontman Roger Daltrey and Oscar-winning actor Sally Field; hip-hop artist Akala and historian David Olusoga discussing empire and race; Carol Ann Duffy reading from her final collection as Poet Laureate, and a full day of events celebrating Young Adult literature.

Multi-buy discount 

A multi-buy discount is available on a selected events—look out for the yellow label in listings. Book two or more of these events in the same transaction and receive a 20% discount.

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Young Adult Lit Day

Buy a Day Pass (27 October 2018), for some of the most exciting authors of Young Adult fiction, new and emerging poetry and spoken word, and a fanzine fair.

Book Day Pass

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An Evening with Roger Daltrey
7:30 pm
Thu 18 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Thu 18 Oct 2018
Literature
Hear the inside story of the rise of British rock from Roger Daltrey as he publishes his memoir
Hear the inside story of the rise of British rock from Roger Daltrey as he publishes his memoir
An Evening with Sally Field

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Fri 19 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Fri 19 Oct 2018
Literature
Talks & Topics
Celebrated actor Sally Field tells her extraordinary story in her own words
Celebrated actor Sally Field tells her extraordinary story in her own words
Marilynne Robinson in Conversation

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

2:00 pm
Sat 20 Oct 2018
2:00 pm | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
The US novelist and essayist reflects on hope and generosity in tumultuous times
The US novelist and essayist reflects on hope and generosity in tumultuous times
Carol Ann Duffy & Friends
7:30 pm
Sat 20 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
Poetry
Carol Ann Duffy is joined by friends for a special reading of her final collection as poet laureate
Carol Ann Duffy is joined by friends for a special reading of her final collection as poet laureate
 David Olusoga
8:00 pm
Sat 20 Oct 2018
8:00 pm | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures by tracing the roots of modern Britain
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures by tracing the roots of modern Britain
An Introduction to The Odyssey

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

2:00 pm
Sun 21 Oct 2018
2:00 pm | Sun 21 Oct 2018
Literature
Who is Odysseus, anyway? Find out from our panel, chaired by cult classicist Mary Beard
Who is Odysseus, anyway? Find out from our panel, chaired by cult classicist Mary Beard

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

4:00 pm
Sun 21 Oct 2018
4:00 pm | Sun 21 Oct 2018
Literature
Hear the ultimate oral poem, The Odyssey, read aloud at an event inspired by Emily Wilson's new translation
Hear the ultimate oral poem, The Odyssey, read aloud at an event inspired by Emily Wilson's new...
Salman Rushdie: From Midnight's Children to Trump's America

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Tue 23 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Tue 23 Oct 2018
Literature
The celebrated author of compulsive, daring and enduring fiction on his life in writing
The celebrated author of compulsive, daring and enduring fiction on his life in writing
Olafur Eliasson: Experience
7:30 pm
Fri 26 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Fri 26 Oct 2018
Art
The Danish-Icelandic artist opens a window onto his practice and asks how art can create change
The Danish-Icelandic artist opens a window onto his practice and asks how art can create change
M A Bennett, author
11:45 am
Sat 27 Oct 2018
11:45 am | Sat 27 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Look for the answers in literature at a talk from three of the young adult fiction world’s most exciting authors
Look for the answers in literature at a talk from three of the young adult fiction world’s most...

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don't miss

Sue Perkins

Image Credit 
Steve Ullathorne
Sue Perkins
28 Oct
Literature
No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author Sue Perkins celebrates the publication of her travel memoir
19 Oct
Literature
Talks & Topics
Celebrated actor Sally Field tells her extraordinary story in her own words
see all events

Young Adult Lit Day

Buy a Day Pass  (27 October 2018), for some of the most exciting authors of Young Adult fiction, new and emerging poetry and spoken word, and a fanzine fair.

Book Day Pass

literature stories

story
From Sybil to Forrest Gump, take a look back at some of the actress’ most iconic performances
story
Find out which literary luminaries are on this year’s bill