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.

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When you write, you are a despot, you’re a dictator. You have absolute power over life and death.
Philip Pullman, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2017
Literature can take us into lives we might think are far from our own
Ted Hodgkinson, Southbank Centre Senior Programmer, Literature & Spoken Word

London Literature Festival 2018

In October we welcome some of today’s leading writers, thinkers and cultural observers to explore the burning issues of our times.

Highlights include exclusive memoir launches from The Who's frontman Roger Daltrey and Oscar-winning actor Sally Field, as well as award-winning writers Marilynne Robinson, André Aciman and Sir Salman Rushdie.

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all events

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
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
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
Olga Tokarczuk, Polish writer  - image credit Jacek Klodziejski
7:45 pm
Thu 18 Oct 2018
7:45 pm | Thu 18 Oct 2018
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Olga Tokarczuk launches her latest novel, an unconventional thriller with an eccentric sleuth
Olga Tokarczuk launches her latest novel, an unconventional thriller with an eccentric sleuth
In Search of a Better Life: Esi Edugyan & Aida Edemariam

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:45 pm
Thu 18 Oct 2018
7:45 pm | Thu 18 Oct 2018
Literature
Go on a voyage of discovery with characters who are looking for a better life
Go on a voyage of discovery with characters who are looking for a better life
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
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

Pages

literature & poetry highlights

12 Nov
Literature
Talks & Topics
The award-winning author and incisive cultural commentator discusses her much-anticipated new novel
10 Dec
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
The critic and author takes the stage to discuss today's culture with her keen and humorous candour
see all events

blog: literature & poetry

story
How an increase in prizes is helping bring through more diverse voices
story
The author on nature, writing, nostalgia, the 1930s and visions of England then and now
story
From living in exile to appearing in films, the author’s remarkable story

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