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.

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When you write, you are a despot, you’re a dictator. You have absolute power over life and death.
Philip Pullman, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2017
Literature can take us into lives we might think are far from our own
Ted Hodgkinson, Southbank Centre Senior Programmer, Literature & Spoken Word

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all events

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Mon 17 Dec 2018
5:30 pm | Mon 17 Dec 2018
Gigs
Folk & World
Getting home means something different in the winter chill
Getting home means something different in the winter chill

Free

Free

Various times
until 17 Dec 2018
Various times | until 17 Dec 2018
Literature
Poetry
Discuss the ten poetry books shortlisted for this year’s prestigious TS Eliot Prize
Discuss the ten poetry books shortlisted for this year’s prestigious TS Eliot Prize
Two children making crafts at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

12:00 pm
Sun 30 Dec 2018
12:00 pm | Sun 30 Dec 2018
Performance & Dance
Literature
Wrap up 2018 and 'sew' the seeds for 2019 at a crafting workshop with the AFRORETRO sisters
Wrap up 2018 and 'sew' the seeds for 2019 at a crafting workshop with the AFRORETRO...
Headshot of  Jeremy Noel-Tod
2:00 pm
Sun 13 Jan 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 13 Jan 2019
Literature
Poetry
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 13 Jan 2019
7:00 pm | Sun 13 Jan 2019
Literature
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
Rachel Long
7:00 pm
Mon 14 Jan 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 14 Jan 2019
Literature
Poetry
Harness your dreams in a six-week poetry course for women
Harness your dreams in a six-week poetry course for women
Painted puppet for Rug Rhymes

Free

Free

Various times
18 Jan 2019 - 5 Apr 2019
Various times | 18 Jan 2019 - 5 Apr 2019
Literature
Poetry
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
Irenosen Okojie, writer
7:00 pm
Mon 21 Jan 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 21 Jan 2019
Literature
Writers
Incisive, mysterious, surprising: the short story form is addictive to writers
Incisive, mysterious, surprising: the short story form is addictive to writers
 Julie Cohen holding an umbrella in a cemetery
7:30 pm
Mon 28 Jan 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 28 Jan 2019
Literature
Poetry
Popular author Julie Cohen headlines the beloved LGBTQ+ literary salon in its first showcase of 2019
Popular author Julie Cohen headlines the beloved LGBTQ+ literary salon in its first showcase of 2019
Leïla Slimani, writer
7:15 pm
Mon 04 Feb 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 04 Feb 2019
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
See the author of Lullaby in an exclusive UK appearance before the publication of her new book
See the author of Lullaby in an exclusive UK appearance before the publication of her new book

Pages

literature & poetry highlights

13 Jan
Literature
Poetry
On the eve of the TS Eliot Prize, hear the shortlisted poets reading from their own work

Leïla Slimani: Adèle

Image Credit 
Catherine Hélie ©Editions Gallimard
Leïla Slimani, writer
4 Feb
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
See the author of Lullaby in an exclusive UK appearance before the publication of her new book
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blog: literature & poetry

story
Celebrating the great Scottish poet's centenary year
podcast
Relive special moments from this year’s festival with these podcasts
story
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture