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. 

download the 2018 London Literature Festival guide

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.

see all events

Young Adult Lit Day

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

book a Day Pass

Child in audience

Free

Free

Various times
until 27 Oct 2018
Various times | until 27 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Wake up your body, mind and mouths with a wordy warm-up led by performer and writer Maria Ferguson
Wake up your body, mind and mouths with a wordy warm-up led by performer and writer Maria Ferguson
Dead Reckoning, miniature boats on the floor

Free

Free

11:00 am
Mon 22 Oct 2018
11:00 am | Mon 22 Oct 2018
Art
Commemorate the people behind migration statistics by helping to sew an ambitious temporary artwork
Commemorate the people behind migration statistics by helping to sew an ambitious temporary artwork
The Bolds with Julian Clary & David Roberts
2:00 pm
Mon 22 Oct 2018
2:00 pm | Mon 22 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Join writer Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts with another hilarious tale from The Bolds
Join writer Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts with another hilarious tale from The Bolds

Free

Free

Various times
until 27 Oct 2018
Various times | until 27 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Unwind with a story at London Literature Festival
Unwind with a story at London Literature Festival
Harlem house

Free

Free

6:30 pm
Mon 22 Oct 2018
6:30 pm | Mon 22 Oct 2018
Literature
Poetry
Discover the lyrical poetry that emerged from the African American art scene in 1920s New York
Discover the lyrical poetry that emerged from the African American art scene in 1920s New York
André Aciman: Enigma Variations
7:30 pm
Mon 22 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Mon 22 Oct 2018
Literature
Uncover the intrigues of the heart at a reading of the new novel by author André Aciman
Uncover the intrigues of the heart at a reading of the new novel by author André Aciman
THE GIANT STORYTELLING BED at Imagine Children's Festival Credit Victor Frankowski 2016
Various times
until 25 Oct 2018
Various times | until 25 Oct 2018
Enjoy a fun session with your little ones led by storytellers as part of London Literature Festival
Enjoy a fun session with your little ones led by storytellers as part of London Literature Festival
Sold out
Nadia Shireen, author and illustrator
2:00 pm
Tue 23 Oct 2018
2:00 pm | Tue 23 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Bring the kids and draw up a storm with the bestselling author and illustrator of children's books
Bring the kids and draw up a storm with the bestselling author and illustrator of children's...

Free

Free

Various times
Tue 23 Oct 2018
Various times | Tue 23 Oct 2018
Gigs
Folk & World
Sail off into the blue with storytellers and musicians who riff on the power of the sea
Sail off into the blue with storytellers and musicians who riff on the power of the sea
Readings of Chinua Achebe
7:00 pm
Tue 23 Oct 2018
7:00 pm | Tue 23 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Reflect on powerful women writers of colour and the presses that publish them at a panel discussion
Reflect on powerful women writers of colour and the presses that publish them at a panel discussion

Pages

Sorry, your search didn't find anything.

Try changing the date selection, or other filters and searching again

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
28 Oct
Literature
From Ancient Greece onward, why have stories of migration captivated our imaginations?
see all events

Young Adult Lit Day

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

book a Day Pass

literature stories

story
The author discusses her debut book Ponti and taking The Odyssey away from the male gaze
story
Enjoy eight stand-out musical collaborations featuring The Who frontman
story
Read an extract from Churchwell’s new book, Behold, America

shop London Literature Festival

Book Tote Bag

Littery London Tea Towel

Tool The Bookworm Dandelion

The Colour of Books Print