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.

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

10:30 am
Fri 19 Oct 2018
10:30 am | Fri 19 Oct 2018
Literature
Discover the Odyssey's mythical world of gods, giants and sirens in this day for schools
Discover the Odyssey's mythical world of gods, giants and sirens in this day for schools
Paining by W.S. Graham

Free

Free

Various times
until 31 Mar 2019
Various times | until 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
Bridget Minamore, poet and journalist

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Fri 19 Oct 2018
1:00 pm | Fri 19 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Imagine the future of literature at a talk with Bridget Minamore on dystopian short fiction
Imagine the future of literature at a talk with Bridget Minamore on dystopian short fiction
Heaux Noire illustration

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Fri 19 Oct 2018
5:30 pm | Fri 19 Oct 2018
Literature
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
Slay in your Lane
7:00 pm
Fri 19 Oct 2018
7:00 pm | Fri 19 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Navigate the spaghetti junction of life and come out in front
Navigate the spaghetti junction of life and come out in front
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
E Lockhart, writer
11:00 am
Sat 20 Oct 2018
11:00 am | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
Hit the right notes with tools for finding your authorial voice at a workshop led by E Lockhart
Hit the right notes with tools for finding your authorial voice at a workshop led by E Lockhart
Sold out
Terrance Hayes & Sarah Churchwell on American Dreams

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

12:00 pm
Sat 20 Oct 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
Examine the first 200 days of Trump's presidency and how America's history led to this moment
Examine the first 200 days of Trump's presidency and how America's history led to this...

Free

Free

Various times
20 Oct 2018 - 21 Oct 2018
Various times | 20 Oct 2018 - 21 Oct 2018
Art
Get to grips with warp and weft and learn about a resourceful character from The Odyssey
Get to grips with warp and weft and learn about a resourceful character from The Odyssey
Madeline Miller Masterclass on Rewriting Myth
2:00 pm
Sat 20 Oct 2018
2:00 pm | Sat 20 Oct 2018
Literature
Breathe new life into mythic characters at a writing masterclass led by Madeline Miller
Breathe new life into mythic characters at a writing masterclass led by Madeline Miller
Sold out

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don't miss

20 Oct
Literature
The US novelist and essayist reflects on hope and generosity in tumultuous times
22 Oct
Literature
Uncover the intrigues of the heart at a reading of the new novel by author André Aciman
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

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The Colour of Books Print

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Book Tote Bag

Littery London Tea Towel