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

W.S. Graham photo with a painted face on the wall

Free

Free

7:30 pm
Thu 18 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Thu 18 Oct 2018
Art
Literature
Hear contemporary responses to poet WS Graham at the launch of an exhibition on his work
Hear contemporary responses to poet WS Graham at the launch of an exhibition on his work
Paining by W.S. Graham

Free

Free

Various times
19 Oct 2018 - 31 Mar 2019
Various times | 19 Oct 2018 - 31 Mar 2019
Art
Literature
Make room for creativity at an interactive reconstruction of poet WS Graham’s creative space
Make room for creativity at an interactive reconstruction of poet WS Graham’s creative space
A lady looking over books at National Poetry Library Open Day

Free

Free

12:00 pm
Sun 21 Oct 2018
12:00 pm | Sun 21 Oct 2018
Literature
Poetry
Set off on a journey into the heart of modern poetry at our open day on the theme of odysseys
Set off on a journey into the heart of modern poetry at our open day on the theme of odysseys

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don't miss

20 Oct
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures by tracing the roots of modern Britain
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