Listen to highlights of 2018’s London Literature Festival

Now in its twelfth year, Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival brings together today’s leading writers, thinkers and cultural observers to discuss burning issues and literary influences. This year, as well as reimagining and rediscovering Homer’s The Odyssey, we cast an eye across the Atlantic on how Trump-era America is preparing for the midterm elections.

As well as hosting talks, discussions and readings on these two key themes, this year’s festival also welcomed big names looking back on their life and work; two of which you can listen to again in these festival highlights; The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, and Oscar-winning actor Sally Field. But first, hip-hop poet and author Akala and historian David Olusoga dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures in a talk titled String the Empire.


Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival by Southbank Centre's Book Podcast


Think about the words we use to describe tea. English breakfast, Earl Grey... all of that tea is Indian or Sri Lankan. This is our national drink. One of the most popular brands is Yorkshire Tea… where in Yorkshire? These linguistic tricks, they’re the way that we disconnect the fact that our history is global, and we are the product of that global history.
David Olusoga


Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK, and the venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International. Throughout the year we host talks, discussions, readings and more featuring bestselling authors, award-winning poets and inspirational writers.

discover upcoming events