literature & poetry

Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK and the venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International. Our programme is brimming with today’s bestselling authors, award-winning poetry and spoken word, and dramatised readings of iconic novels from some of the world’s most inspiring writers.

This season Malcolm Gladwell explores the mysteries of strangers, Celeste Ng talks character development, Richard Dawkins makes an argument for atheism and Richard Ayoade reflects on his award-winning films and comedy. Our upcoming events also include talks from Louis Theroux, Nadiya Hussain and Sir Lenny Henry. 

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Poet performing on stage
7:45 pm
Mon 22 Jul 2019
7:45 pm | Mon 22 Jul 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Take a seat for an evening of poetry, featuring Morgan Parker, Brian Patten and Hannah Sullivan
Take a seat for an evening of poetry, featuring Morgan Parker, Brian Patten and Hannah Sullivan
Guernica Remakings at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
Various times | 26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola Ashmore
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola...
Paul Burston, journalist and author
7:30 pm
Fri 26 Jul 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 26 Jul 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Stride into summer with the best in queer writing at an evening with the LGBTQ+ literary salon
Stride into summer with the best in queer writing at an evening with the LGBTQ+ literary salon
Guernica Remakings at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

7:30 pm
Wed 31 Jul 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 31 Jul 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Raise a glass at the opening of a new exhibition of works responding to Picasso’s anti-war masterpiece
Raise a glass at the opening of a new exhibition of works responding to Picasso’s anti-war...
John Hegley, Cina Aissa and Mike Tomes leaning against a wall
8:00 pm
Wed 07 Aug 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 07 Aug 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
From the French: the poet, comedian and musician John Hegley reflects on his Gallic roots
From the French: the poet, comedian and musician John Hegley reflects on his Gallic roots
Etgar Keret, writer
7:15 pm
Tue 03 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 03 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
A Homage to Razz at Southbank Centre
8:00 pm
Wed 04 Sep 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 04 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Malorie Blackman, writer
2:00 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
family & young people
literature & poetry
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts &...
Sara Pascoe, comedian
7:30 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author

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highlights

6 Oct
literature & poetry
talks & debates
What creates compelling and realistic characters? Ask the bestselling author at this in-depth talk
8 Sep
family & young people
literature & poetry
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
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If our literature programme has you feeling inspired to put pen to paper, but you're not sure how or where to start, join one of our writing courses and workshops led by professional writers.

Choose from a selection of poetry or prose classes (or both) to develop your talent and find your voice, guided by expert instruction.

view writing & poetry classes

blog: literature & poetry

story
Take a look at the packed line-up coming to Southbank Centre later this year
story
Introducing an award-winning author with an increasingly global following
podcast
Listen to the thirteenth episode of our podcast series, in which we turn our attention to poetry and spoken word