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NPL at 70: International Celebration

Sun 23 Jul 2023, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
past event
past event
Books on the shelves of National Poetry Library at Southbank Centre
National Poetry Library © Pete Woodhead

Don't miss out on the celebrations as we mark the National Poetry Library turning 70 with a who’s who line-up of international poets.

Hear extended live readings from CAConrad, John Kinsella, Lidija Dimkovska, Belinda Zhawi, Yang Lian and Olive Senior in this one-off showcase.

In addition, each poet has been invited to select their favourite poem from the National Poetry Library’s collection to share on the evening.

Poet, novelist and translator Lidija Dimkovska has published seven books of poetry, three novels and one short stories collection in her native Macedonian, one American diary, and has edited four anthologies. Her books have been translated into over 15 languages. She lives in Slovenia.

Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean literary and sound artist based in south-east London. She is the author of the pamphlet Small Inheritances, and experiments with sound/text performance as MA.MOYO. Her work has been featured on various platforms, including The White Review, NTS, Boiler Room and BBC Radio. She’s held artist residencies with Triangle France, Cove Park, Serpentine Galleries and ICA London. Zhawi is the co-founder of literary arts platform, BORN::FREE.

CAConrad is the author of nine books, including AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021), which won the 2022 PEN Josephine Miles Award. They received a 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship and a Lambda Award. A new collection of poetry, Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return, is forthcoming from Wave Books in 2024.

John Kinsella's recent books of poetry include Insomnia (Picador, 2019), Brimstone: A Book of Villanelles (Arc, 2020) and the verse novel Cellnight (Transit Lounge, 2023). His new collection, The Pastoraclasm (Salt), was published in the UK in March 2023. He is Emeritus Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Olive Senior is the Poet Laureate of Jamaica 2021 – 24. She is the award-winning author of 20 books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's literature. Her many awards include Canada's Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Commonwealth Writers? Prize, an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica.

Yang Lian was one of the original Misty Poets who reacted against the strictures of the Cultural Revolution. His work was criticised in China in 1983, formally banned in 1989 when he organised memorial services for the dead of Tiananmen, and he was in exile thereafter until 1995, finally settling in London in 1997. Translations of his poetry include five collections with Bloodaxe Books. He is co-editor with WN Herbert of Jade Ladder: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2012), and was awarded the International Nonino Prize in 2012.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

This event is British Sign Language interpreted (BSL). BSL interpretation is provided by Michelle Wood and Sarah Meeks (subject to change).

To book tickets for these services, call us on 020 3879 9555 or email [email protected].

You can join our free Access Scheme through your online Southbank Centre account or via email.
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Dates & times

Sun 23 Jul 2023, 7pm
Approximate run time: 2 hours.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entry£15*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

Tickets can only be sold through the Southbank Centre and our authorised agents, and can't be resold. You can return your tickets to the Southbank Centre for a credit voucher up to 48 hours before the event. Tickets resold on any third-party platforms will become invalid.

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Multi-buy discount

Book multiple events happening as part of Poetry International and receive a discount. The offer applies to all Poetry International events except Out – Spoken on Thursday 20 July.
Buy tickets for 2 events - get 10% off
Buy tickets for 3 events - get 20% off
Buy tickets for 4 events - get 30% off

Find all of these events in Poetry International


Queen Elizabeth Hall

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An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. The phone outside the Changing Places toilet will connect you with a member of staff, who can provide you with the key. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


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For step-free access from the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road to the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium seating (excluding rows A to C) and wheelchair spaces in the Rear Stalls, plus Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer and the Purcell Room, please use the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

To reach this entrance, enter the Royal Festival Hall via the Southbank Centre Square Doors. Take the JCB Glass Lift to Level 2 and exit to the Riverside Terrace. Turn right to find the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

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