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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Olga Tokarczuk at the Man Booker podium
7:45 pm
Mon 20 May 2019
7:45 pm | Mon 20 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join this year’s shortlisted authors and translators for an evening of readings and conversation
Join this year’s shortlisted authors and translators for an evening of readings and conversation
 Headshot of James Ellroy, American crime writer
7:30 pm
Mon 27 May 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 27 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The ‘demon dog of American literature’ on new novel This Storm and his life in writing
The ‘demon dog of American literature’ on new novel This Storm and his life in writing
Neil Gaiman, author
7:30 pm
Wed 29 May 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 29 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The master storyteller reflects on reinventing the modern classic Good Omens for the screen
The master storyteller reflects on reinventing the modern classic Good Omens for the screen
7:15 pm
Thu 30 May 2019
7:15 pm | Thu 30 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted: the latest novel from the constantly evolving writer
Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted: the latest novel from the constantly evolving writer
Sold out
Seamus Heaney with librarian Mary Enright
6:30 pm
Mon 03 Jun 2019
6:30 pm | Mon 03 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Get digging into the work and legacy of the beloved poet and mark what would’ve been his 80th year
Get digging into the work and legacy of the beloved poet and mark what would’ve been his 80th year
Karen Armstrong, author
7:15 pm
Mon 03 Jun 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 03 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
One of the world’s leading commentators on religion speaks on the use and abuse of holy texts
One of the world’s leading commentators on religion speaks on the use and abuse of holy texts
8:00 pm
Wed 05 Jun 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 05 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Poets Kate Davis, Abi Palmer and Meryl Pugh reflect on gender, disability, place and the body
Poets Kate Davis, Abi Palmer and Meryl Pugh reflect on gender, disability, place and the body
7:30 pm
Mon 10 Jun 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 10 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The Oscar-winning writer of biopic Milk brings Hollywood sparkle to the LGBTQ+ literary salon’s stage
The Oscar-winning writer of biopic Milk brings Hollywood sparkle to the LGBTQ+ literary salon’s...
Workshop participants sat at a table
1:00 pm
Sat 15 Jun 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 15 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Tell your own story at a workshop on poetry reportage with the poet and founder of SLAMbassadors
Tell your own story at a workshop on poetry reportage with the poet and founder of SLAMbassadors
Sold out
Poet performing on stage
7:45 pm
Thu 20 Jun 2019
7:45 pm | Thu 20 Jun 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Soak up music and spoken word at an evening with poets Ilya Kaminsky, Sabrina Mahfouz and Kei Miller
Soak up music and spoken word at an evening with poets Ilya Kaminsky, Sabrina Mahfouz and Kei Miller

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literature & poetry highlights

27 May
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The ‘demon dog of American literature’ on new novel This Storm and his life in writing
29 May
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The master storyteller reflects on reinventing the modern classic Good Omens for the screen
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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 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.

Bearing Witness in Poetry with Mary Jean Chan

23 Apr – 2 Jul 2019

Navigating Otherness: A Creative Writing Course

24 Apr – 3 Jul 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Anthony Anaxagorou

11 May 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Joelle Taylor

15 Jun 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Raymond Antrobus

13 Jul 2019

blog: literature & poetry

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Get up to speed on the author’s two LA Quartet series.
story
How the authors’ respective latest novels explore the boundaries from artificial intelligence
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Discover the six authors and books in contention for this year’s prize