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, unearth the conversation on climate change with writers including David Wallace-Wells and Zing Tsjeng as they tackle everything from eco-anxiety to decolonisation. 

We also welcome bestselling authors Hilary Mantel, Eimear McBride, Marian Keyes, Roddy Doyle and Isabel Allende. 

 

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Free

Free

Various times
5 Dec 2019 - 29 Mar 2020
Various times | 5 Dec 2019 - 29 Mar 2020
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Joo Yeon Park’s new exhibition commemorates the 30th anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s death
Joo Yeon Park’s new exhibition commemorates the 30th anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s death
Rug Rhymes puppet at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
13 Sep 2019 - 13 Dec 2019
Various times | 13 Sep 2019 - 13 Dec 2019
literature & poetry
family & young people
A short session of nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s and their carers
A short session of nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s and their carers
SKY GOD and The Repeat Beat Poet
8:00 pm
Wed 08 Jan 2020
8:00 pm | Wed 08 Jan 2020
gigs
literature & poetry
Seven poets from the London open-mic night perform works that flow out of hip-hop and politics
Seven poets from the London open-mic night perform works that flow out of hip-hop and politics
Sold out
Headshot of  Jeremy Noel-Tod
2:00 pm
Sun 12 Jan 2020
2:00 pm | Sun 12 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
On the day of the TS Eliot Prize Readings, the poetry critic assesses this year's shortlist
On the day of the TS Eliot Prize Readings, the poetry critic assesses this year's shortlist
Portrait of Poet, TS Eliot
7:00 pm
Sun 12 Jan 2020
7:00 pm | Sun 12 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
On the eve of the TS Eliot Prize, hear the shortlisted poets reading from their own work
On the eve of the TS Eliot Prize, hear the shortlisted poets reading from their own work
Workshop participants sat at a table
7:00 pm
Mon 13 Jan 2020
7:00 pm | Mon 13 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Poet Richard Scott helps you to apply your poetic skills to our art and artefacts in a six-session course
Poet Richard Scott helps you to apply your poetic skills to our art and artefacts in a six-session...
Children at poetry workshop

Free

Free

Various times
17 Jan 2020 - 10 Jul 2020
Various times | 17 Jan 2020 - 10 Jul 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Find your spot on the poem rug for a short session of nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s
Find your spot on the poem rug for a short session of nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s
6:30 pm
Mon 20 Jan 2020
6:30 pm | Mon 20 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Share your thoughts on the winner of the 2020 TS Eliot Prize
Share your thoughts on the winner of the 2020 TS Eliot Prize
Jude Yawson, writer
7:00 pm
Mon 20 Jan 2020
7:00 pm | Mon 20 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
writers
How can your writing tackle the climate crisis?
How can your writing tackle the climate crisis?
Participants of a workshop
1:00 pm
Sat 25 Jan 2020
1:00 pm | Sat 25 Jan 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
By the metre: navigate the world of poetry at our monthly three-hour weekend writing workshop, facilitated by leading UK/US poets.
By the metre: navigate the world of poetry at our monthly three-hour weekend writing workshop,...

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highlights

12 Jan
literature & poetry
poetry
On the eve of the TS Eliot Prize, hear the shortlisted poets reading from their own work
9 Feb
british sign language
speech to text
For the first time in 12 years, one of the most widely read novelists in the world visits the UK
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A variety of events in our literature and poetry programme, including talks, spoken word and live performances, are British Sign Language interpreted and/or Speech-to-Text transcribed. Access information for each event can be found in the ‘need to know’ section, underneath the main description of the event. 

If an event in our literature programme does not have an access provision, you can request one by emailing Customer Relations at customerrelations@southbankcentre.co.uk or by phoning our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555 at least one month ahead of the event. We will try to provide a service wherever possible.

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You may be eligible for concessionary tickets if you have specific seating requirements, with a complimentary seat for your companion, under our Access Scheme.

find out more about access & facilities

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blog: literature & poetry

podcast
Listen to this UK-exclusive talk about their new book, The Book of Gutsy Women
story
See who’ll be joining us during some packed months of live literature

explore our programme

shop london literature festival

The Poetry Pharmacy Return

Literary 'Tea Large Enough' Tote Bag

Capri Bookmark

'Isometric Books' Coaster Set