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 Malcolm Gladwell explores the mysteries of strangers, Celeste Ng talks character development, Richard Dawkins makes an argument for atheism and Richard Ayoade reflects on his award-winning films and comedy. Our upcoming events also include talks from Louis Theroux, Nadiya Hussain and Sir Lenny Henry. 

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London Literature Festival & Poetry International

16 – 27 OCT 2019

Over 11 days of talks, readings, poetry and performance, featuring Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, Heather Morris, Lemn Sissay, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) – and many more.

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Out-Spoken: October at Southbank Centre
7:45 pm
Thu 17 Oct 2019
7:45 pm | Thu 17 Oct 2019
gigs
literature & poetry
Ring in Poetry International festival with your monthly dose of stellar live music and poetry
Ring in Poetry International festival with your monthly dose of stellar live music and poetry
Readers in The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
17 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
Various times | 17 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Voices from our Poetry for Dementia programme come through loud and clear in a sound installation
Voices from our Poetry for Dementia programme come through loud and clear in a sound installation
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
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Free

Free

Various times
16 Oct 2019 - 17 Nov 2019
Various times | 16 Oct 2019 - 17 Nov 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Toast to Beat poet, painter and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday at this exhibition
Toast to Beat poet, painter and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday at this...
Lex Amor, musical artist

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
6:00 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
gigs
Find calm in the powerful cadences of rapper, DJ and producer Lex Amor
Find calm in the powerful cadences of rapper, DJ and producer Lex Amor
Heaux Noire illustration
6:30 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
6:30 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Listen up as womxn* of colour share their stories through poetry and music
Listen up as womxn* of colour share their stories through poetry and music
Ayelet Gunder-Goshen, author
7:00 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
What is power in the age of #MeToo? The award-winning novelist discusses her latest novel, Liar
What is power in the age of #MeToo? The award-winning novelist discusses her latest novel, Liar
Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

8:15 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
8:15 pm | Fri 18 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Reflect on self-expression and Britishness at this discussion on Sissay’s new memoir
Reflect on self-expression and Britishness at this discussion on Sissay’s new memoir
Valzhyna Mort
10:15 am
Sat 19 Oct 2019
10:15 am | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
courses & workshops
Train your eye and ear on the choices that construct poetic meaning in a poetry masterclass
Train your eye and ear on the choices that construct poetic meaning in a poetry masterclass
Fantastical Futures at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
12 Oct 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
Various times | 12 Oct 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Create visionary fiction in a three-day writing course led by award-winning writers and poets
Create visionary fiction in a three-day writing course led by award-winning writers and poets

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highlights

19 Oct
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Delve into the gripping secrets of 20th-century China in this talk with the acclaimed author
22 Oct
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Find out what happened to Cilka Klein from author Heather Morris at a London-exclusive event
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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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Multi-buy ticket offers

Book three or more literature and poetry events in the same transaction and receive a 25% discount. Selected events only.

To take advantage of our multi-buy offers look out for literature and poetry events displaying the yellow multi-buy label. You will be able to navigate back to the full list of events in each multi-buy by clicking the links below the titles on event pages or the multi-buy links in the 'what's on' listings. 

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blog: literature & poetry

story
The internationally bestselling author on the fascinating story of Lale Sokolov
story
The popular children’s author discusses his new book

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shop london literature festival

Literary 'Tea Large Enough' Tote Bag

The Poetry Pharmacy Return

'Isometric Books' Coaster Set

Capri Bookmark