literature & poetry

Polari: Featuring Maureen Duffy

Beloved LGBTQ+ literary salon Polari steps into spring and welcomes the return of Maureen Duffy to its stage, in recognition of the forthcoming WOW festival at Southbank Centre.

Duffy is a poet, playwright and novelist. She is the author of 34 published works of fiction, including nine collections of poetry and 16 plays for stage, screen and radio.

She came to attention in the 1960s as the first woman in British public life to talk openly about her homosexuality. Her first openly lesbian novel was The Microcosm (1966), set in the famous lesbian nightclub Gateways in London. Her most recent works include a collection of poetry, Pictures from an Exhibition.

Duffy is joined at the event by Yelena Moskovich, PJ Samuels, Chris Chalmers and Elaine Chambers, showcasing the best in LGBTQ+ literary talent.

In Times Like These, Duffy’s latest novel, is about Brexit and Scottish independence seen through the eyes of a gay couple, Paul and Terry. Two one-act plays, Hilda and Virginia, based on the lives of the sixth-century nun Hilda of Whitby and the writer Virginia Woolf, were produced in March 2018 at the Jermyn Street Theatre.

She is currently working on her 20th novel.

The salon is curated and hosted by Paul Burston, described by Attitude magazine as ‘easily one of the most important commentators of his generation’.

Polari is a unique mix of voices that provokes the strongest responses from its audience - love, laughter, tears, but most of all, thought
Val McDermid
Never dull, always different - laughter, tears, and one of the warmest audiences I've ever read in front of. (Mind you someone had been messing with the thermostat.)
Jonathan Harvey

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 16+

Content warning
Please note that Polari contains adult themes.