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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all events

Guernica Remakings at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
Various times | 26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola Ashmore
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola...
Etgar Keret, writer
7:15 pm
Tue 03 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 03 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
A Homage to Razz at Southbank Centre
8:00 pm
Wed 04 Sep 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 04 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Malorie Blackman, writer
2:00 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts &...
Sara Pascoe, comedian
7:30 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Nathan Filer, writer
7:15 pm
Mon 09 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 09 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
7:30 pm
Fri 13 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 13 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and...
Akala, rapper and activist
2:45 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
2:45 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
6:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and music
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and...
Letters Live at Southbank Centre
7:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
Great performers read remarkable letters from down the centuries and around the world
Great performers read remarkable letters from down the centuries and around the world
Philippa Perry
7:30 pm
Thu 19 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 19 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
How much does our own upbringing affect our parenting?
How much does our own upbringing affect our parenting?
Workshop participants sat at a table
1:00 pm
Sat 21 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 21 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Channel your inner poet at this monthly poetry masterclass
Channel your inner poet at this monthly poetry masterclass
Richard Dawkins, ethologist
7:30 pm
Sun 22 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 22 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Sabrina Mahfouz, poet
7:45 pm
Mon 23 Sep 2019
7:45 pm | Mon 23 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join us for the launch of this anthology of working-class artists on art, life and making it happen
Join us for the launch of this anthology of working-class artists on art, life and making it happen
Will Harris, poet
7:00 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
What can poetry tell us about others and about ourselves?
What can poetry tell us about others and about ourselves?
Antoni Porowski, TV personality
7:30 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Serve up your burning questions about food and healthy living for the Queer Eye star and author
Serve up your burning questions about food and healthy living for the Queer Eye star and author
Louis Theroux, filmmaker
7:30 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian
Out-Spoken: September at Southbank Centre
7:45 pm
Thu 26 Sep 2019
7:45 pm | Thu 26 Sep 2019
gigs
literature & poetry
Kick off Out-Spoken’s Southbank Centre residency with a night of superlative poetry and live music
Kick off Out-Spoken’s Southbank Centre residency with a night of superlative poetry and live music
Lenny Henry, comedian
7:30 pm
Mon 30 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 30 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited...
Courttia Newland, writer
7:00 pm
Wed 02 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Wed 02 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Learn to map the ever-shifting terrain of the urban metropolis in a six-session course
Learn to map the ever-shifting terrain of the urban metropolis in a six-session course
A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller
8:00 pm
Wed 02 Oct 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 02 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Poet Jacqueline Saphra reflects on photos of, and by, the photographer, model and war journalist
Poet Jacqueline Saphra reflects on photos of, and by, the photographer, model and war journalist
10:30 am
Thu 03 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Thu 03 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Get wordy with your class at a day of workshops and performances on National Poetry Day 2019
Get wordy with your class at a day of workshops and performances on National Poetry Day 2019

Free

Free

2:00 pm
Thu 03 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Thu 03 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Round off National Poetry Day with performances on the year’s theme of ‘truth’
Round off National Poetry Day with performances on the year’s theme of ‘truth’
Celeste Ng, author
7:30 pm
Sun 06 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 06 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
What creates compelling and realistic characters? Ask the bestselling author at this in-depth talk
What creates compelling and realistic characters? Ask the bestselling author at this in-depth talk
Fantastical Futures at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
12 Oct 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
Various times | 12 Oct 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
family & young people
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
Out-Spoken at Southbank Centre
1:00 pm
Sat 12 Oct 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 12 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Unlock your poetic mind and get valuable feedback at this masterclass facilitated by leading poets
Unlock your poetic mind and get valuable feedback at this masterclass facilitated by leading poets
Man Booker at Southbank Centre
7:30 pm
Sun 13 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 13 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Meet the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist in an evening of readings and conversation
Meet the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist in an evening of readings and conversation
The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (Penned in the Margins)
6:30 pm
Mon 14 Oct 2019
6:30 pm | Mon 14 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Get closer to the poet's extraordinary debut, The Perseverance, at our National Poetry Library Book Club
Get closer to the poet's extraordinary debut, The Perseverance, at our National Poetry Library...
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...
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Free

Free

7:30 pm
Wed 16 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 16 Oct 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Raise a glass to artist Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his 100th year at this exhibition launch
Raise a glass to artist Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his 100th year at this exhibition launch
The Bolds Go Wild, illustration
10:15 am
Thu 17 Oct 2019
10:15 am | Thu 17 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
An interactive event for Key Stage 2 pupils, with laugh-out-loud readings, amazing live drawing and more
An interactive event for Key Stage 2 pupils, with laugh-out-loud readings, amazing live drawing and...
The Bolds with Julian Clary & David Roberts

Free

Free

11:00 am
Thu 17 Oct 2019
11:00 am | Thu 17 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Live-stream the creators of The Bolds, Julian Clary and David Roberts, into your classroom for a fun-packed reading
Live-stream the creators of The Bolds, Julian Clary and David Roberts, into your classroom for a...
Armistead Maupin, writer
7:30 pm
Thu 17 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 17 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The much-loved author recounts his favourite Tales of the City in his first ever UK tour
The much-loved author recounts his favourite Tales of the City in his first ever UK tour
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
Lex Amor, musical artist

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Fri 18 Oct 2019
5:30 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
Meena Kandasamy, writer and translator
11:00 am
Sat 19 Oct 2019
11:00 am | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
A panel of poets and translators discuss the disruptive and transformational nature of translation
A panel of poets and translators discuss the disruptive and transformational nature of translation
Gold patten print

Free

Free

12:00 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
12:00 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Peek into the National Poetry Library's collections to browse hidden gems and enjoy live readings and displays
Peek into the National Poetry Library's collections to browse hidden gems and enjoy live...
Raymond Antrobus

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

1:30 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
1:30 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Poets Raymond Antrobus, Ilya Kaminsky and Lisa Kelly share the stage to perform their latest works
Poets Raymond Antrobus, Ilya Kaminsky and Lisa Kelly share the stage to perform their latest works
Jung Chang, author

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

2:00 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Delve into the gripping secrets of 20th-century China in this talk with the acclaimed author
Delve into the gripping secrets of 20th-century China in this talk with the acclaimed author
Iris Colomb, poet and translator
3:00 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
3:00 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Hear the work of three poets who are at the forefront of a new generation of experimentation
Hear the work of three poets who are at the forefront of a new generation of experimentation
Nineb Lamassau

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

6:30 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
6:30 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Be here for the launch of a groundbreaking anthology of poetry written in endangered languages
Be here for the launch of a groundbreaking anthology of poetry written in endangered languages
Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman, writers

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Discuss the themes of the groundbreaking essay collection with those who edited and contributed to it
Discuss the themes of the groundbreaking essay collection with those who edited and contributed to...
My Name is My Own at Southbank Centre
10:00 pm
Sat 19 Oct 2019
10:00 pm | Sat 19 Oct 2019
performance & theatre
literature & poetry
Confront issues of rights at a performance by black and brown women and non-binary people
Confront issues of rights at a performance by black and brown women and non-binary people
Audience members at Imagine festival

Free

Free

12:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
12:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Ping, whoosh, kapow: there's a poem going off
Ping, whoosh, kapow: there's a poem going off
Adonis and Khaled Mattawa: A New Divan

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

12:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
12:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Goethe's great work of world literature
Mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Goethe's great work of world literature
Patricia Smith, poet

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

1:30 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
1:30 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Fire up disruptive poetry in this live reading and discussion with internationally renowned poets
Fire up disruptive poetry in this live reading and discussion with internationally renowned poets
Telephone illustration

Free

Free

2:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Animators squash and stretch poetry by Claudia Rankine, Carol Ann Duffy and more
Animators squash and stretch poetry by Claudia Rankine, Carol Ann Duffy and more
 Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell, PhD candidate
3:30 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
3:30 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Discuss the Forward Prize-shortlisted collections at this event organised with the Poetry School
Discuss the Forward Prize-shortlisted collections at this event organised with the Poetry School
Violet Nights, audience

Free

Free

4:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
4:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Between the past and future is the present, so these poems by young people come with a bow on top
Between the past and future is the present, so these poems by young people come with a bow on top
Readings at Southbank Centre
5:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
5:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Get a fresh perspective on ourselves, others and the UK at a conversation between the two authors
Get a fresh perspective on ourselves, others and the UK at a conversation between the two authors
Forward Prize 2019 judges
7:00 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
The best poetry being published in the British Isles today is read and recognised at this ceremony
The best poetry being published in the British Isles today is read and recognised at this ceremony
Break dancers

Free

Free

10:30 am
Mon 21 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Mon 21 Oct 2019
courses & workshops
family & young people
Red shoes not required for a free dance and music workshop on all things fairy tale
Red shoes not required for a free dance and music workshop on all things fairy tale
A child colouring at a workshop

Free

Free

Various times
21 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
Various times | 21 Oct 2019 - 27 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Set off on a do-it-yourself adventure for families, as magical as the words ‘once upon a time’
Set off on a do-it-yourself adventure for families, as magical as the words ‘once upon a time’
Photo of children and adults joining in a dance workshop together at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
family & young people
literature & poetry
Put your fairy tale moves into practice on our dance floor, after your free workshop
Put your fairy tale moves into practice on our dance floor, after your free workshop
Planet Omar illustration
2:00 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Meet Omar, an accidental trouble magnet with a huge imagination
Meet Omar, an accidental trouble magnet with a huge imagination
Kishani Widyaratna, editor
7:00 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
Fatima Bhutto, writer

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:15 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Mass culture from the East is taking on Hollywood and finding a truly global audience
Mass culture from the East is taking on Hollywood and finding a truly global audience
East West Street book cover

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
A partly staged reading inspired by Philippe Sands’ award-winning bestseller about the Nuremberg trials
A partly staged reading inspired by Philippe Sands’ award-winning bestseller about the Nuremberg...
Nikki Giovanni , poet

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Reflect on the breadth of the poet and activist’s work in this evening of poetry and conversation
Reflect on the breadth of the poet and activist’s work in this evening of poetry and conversation

Free

Free

10:30 am
Tue 22 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Tue 22 Oct 2019
courses & workshops
family & young people
Eight legs are great in a Ghanaian drumming workshop inspired by a cheeky spiderman
Eight legs are great in a Ghanaian drumming workshop inspired by a cheeky spiderman
Family drumming

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Let the tale of Anansi weave its web around you in a storytelling session inspired by the spiderman
Let the tale of Anansi weave its web around you in a storytelling session inspired by the spiderman
I Believe in Unicorns, part of London Literature Festival
Various times
22 Oct 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
Various times | 22 Oct 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Tomas’ world changes the day he meets the Unicorn Lady, in a show based on Michael Morpurgo’s children's book
Tomas’ world changes the day he meets the Unicorn Lady, in a show based on Michael Morpurgo’s...
High Rise Mystery at Southbank Centre
2:00 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
South-east London, the hottest summer on record, and there’s been a murder in the Tri high-rise
South-east London, the hottest summer on record, and there’s been a murder in the Tri high-rise
Baby Yaga, part of London Literature Festival
Various times
22 Oct 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
Various times | 22 Oct 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
A new take on an old Russian folktale, guaranteed to give you lots to chew on
A new take on an old Russian folktale, guaranteed to give you lots to chew on
Emma Paterson headshot
7:00 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
What do literary agents do and how can you find the right one for you?
What do literary agents do and how can you find the right one for you?
7:00 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
From Hong Kong to the English countryside, these poets reflect the diversity of poetry in London today
From Hong Kong to the English countryside, these poets reflect the diversity of poetry in London...
Elizabeth Day, writer and journalist
7:30 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Part memoir, part manifesto, this is a book for anyone who has ever failed - in other words, everyone
Part memoir, part manifesto, this is a book for anyone who has ever failed - in other words,...
Heather Morris, author

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Find out what happened to Cilka Klein from author Heather Morris at a London-exclusive event
Find out what happened to Cilka Klein from author Heather Morris at a London-exclusive event
Tracey Thorn, singer-songwriter
7:30 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
The Polari Book Prize winners are announced at an evening from the LGBTQ+ literary salon
The Polari Book Prize winners are announced at an evening from the LGBTQ+ literary salon
Louise Doughty, writer

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:45 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:45 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journey into the minds of the dead with the renowned authors’ latest narratives
Journey into the minds of the dead with the renowned authors’ latest narratives
Children at workshop

Free

Free

10:30 am
Wed 23 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Wed 23 Oct 2019
courses & workshops
family & young people
Conjure up your own fairy tale with mysterious paper-cut art in a story workshop
Conjure up your own fairy tale with mysterious paper-cut art in a story workshop
Tales from the Library Attic

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Wed 23 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Wed 23 Oct 2019
courses & workshops
performance & theatre
‘Once upon a time’ goes live and interactive in a rambunctious storytelling performance
‘Once upon a time’ goes live and interactive in a rambunctious storytelling performance
Brett Anderson, singer-songwriter

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Wed 23 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 23 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Here they come, the beautiful ones: Suede's frontman reads from his second volume of memoirs
Here they come, the beautiful ones: Suede's frontman reads from his second volume of memoirs

Free

Free

10:30 am
Thu 24 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Thu 24 Oct 2019
courses & workshops
family & young people
Learn Indian dance moves for the whole family to tell an enchanting story of creation and care
Learn Indian dance moves for the whole family to tell an enchanting story of creation and care
Children listening to stories

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
family & young people
Submerge yourself in an ancient tale from dancer Anusha Subramanyam, or join in and make a splash
Submerge yourself in an ancient tale from dancer Anusha Subramanyam, or join in and make a splash
7:00 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Whether you’ve been writing for a while or are just starting, get some tips on the routes to publication
Whether you’ve been writing for a while or are just starting, get some tips on the routes to...
Querulous Insomnia, HM Prison Shotts, acrylic on canvas
7:00 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Hear illuminating performances of written and recorded work produced in the UK’s prisons
Hear illuminating performances of written and recorded work produced in the UK’s prisons

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Break down what’s behind contemporary Britain's culture, attitudes and roots at this talk
Break down what’s behind contemporary Britain's culture, attitudes and roots at this talk
King Midas Sound

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

8:00 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
8:00 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
gigs
electronic
Lean into the sound of loss with a live performance of the group’s ‘deep and dark’ fourth album
Lean into the sound of loss with a live performance of the group’s ‘deep and dark’ fourth...
Children Craft Workshop

Free

Free

10:30 am
Fri 25 Oct 2019
10:30 am | Fri 25 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
courses & workshops
Two children follow a trail of breadcrumbs in the woods... to discover a bookcase heaving with edible books!
Two children follow a trail of breadcrumbs in the woods... to discover a bookcase heaving with...
Eoin Colfer, writer
11:00 am
Fri 25 Oct 2019
11:00 am | Fri 25 Oct 2019
family & young people
literature & poetry
Introducing his new series, the author discusses the genesis of magic and the inherent hilarity of head lice
Introducing his new series, the author discusses the genesis of magic and the inherent hilarity of...

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Fri 25 Oct 2019
1:00 pm | Fri 25 Oct 2019
family & young people
literature & poetry
Come, gather round for wild and wonderful music and stories for all ages, inspired by fairy tales
Come, gather round for wild and wonderful music and stories for all ages, inspired by fairy tales
Maggie Aderin-Pocock, scientist
2:00 pm
Fri 25 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Fri 25 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Get set for the cosmic trip of a lifetime on this interactive tour
Get set for the cosmic trip of a lifetime on this interactive tour
Sinead O’Brien, musical artist

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Fri 25 Oct 2019
6:00 pm | Fri 25 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Answer a call to arms from the Irish poet and performer, equal parts Mark E Smith and Patti Smith
Answer a call to arms from the Irish poet and performer, equal parts Mark E Smith and Patti Smith
7:00 pm
Fri 25 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 25 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
What does home mean within the rich array of experiences in the UK today?
What does home mean within the rich array of experiences in the UK today?
Hannah Gadsby, comedian
Various times
25 Oct 2019 - 3 Nov 2019
Various times | 25 Oct 2019 - 3 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The Australian comedian found her voice with Nanette, and with Douglas she plans to use it
The Australian comedian found her voice with Nanette, and with Douglas she plans to use it
Kamini Ramachandran

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8:00 pm
Fri 25 Oct 2019
8:00 pm | Fri 25 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Live performance meets film and haunting writing in this event showcasing Singaporean writing
Live performance meets film and haunting writing in this event showcasing Singaporean writing
Muhammad Khan, author
11:30 am
Sat 26 Oct 2019
11:30 am | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Gear up for all things YA with some of the genre’s most exciting fiction authors
Gear up for all things YA with some of the genre’s most exciting fiction authors
LInda Bostom, author
12:30 pm
Sat 26 Oct 2019
12:30 pm | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
What compels authors to capture family secrets? Linda Boström Knausgård, Vigdis Hjorth and Mazen Maarouf discuss
What compels authors to capture family secrets? Linda Boström Knausgård, Vigdis Hjorth and Mazen...
Audience at the Literature talk

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Sat 26 Oct 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Find out about prizes, initiatives and schemes that can advance your writing career in a day of free short talks
Find out about prizes, initiatives and schemes that can advance your writing career in a day of free...
Hind Hassan, news reporter
3:00 pm
Sat 26 Oct 2019
3:00 pm | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journalists Roula Khalaf, Hind Hassan and Heba Shibani reflect on their formidable reporting careers
Journalists Roula Khalaf, Hind Hassan and Heba Shibani reflect on their formidable reporting careers
Various times
Sat 26 Oct 2019
Various times | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
courses & workshops
Consult a leading literary agent in a 15-minute session for writers from under-represented backgrounds
Consult a leading literary agent in a 15-minute session for writers from under-represented...
Helen Seymour
Various times
Sat 26 Oct 2019
Various times | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Helen Seymour is struggling to keep her head above water in her very funny, very dark second solo show
Helen Seymour is struggling to keep her head above water in her very funny, very dark second solo...
Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan

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7:15 pm
Sat 26 Oct 2019
7:15 pm | Sat 26 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
Three board game champions come together to discuss being the first in their field to take on AI
Three board game champions come together to discuss being the first in their field to take on AI
Women Rewriting Homer: Madeline Miller & Sharlene Teo

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12:00 pm
Sun 27 Oct 2019
12:00 pm | Sun 27 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
What is it about tales of monsters, witches, green children and talking animals that speak to the present?
What is it about tales of monsters, witches, green children and talking animals that speak to the...
An audience at Southbank Centre

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2:00 pm
Sun 27 Oct 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 27 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Drawn from oral traditions, fairy tales distil our dreams and fears into stories
Drawn from oral traditions, fairy tales distil our dreams and fears into stories
Anthony Daniels and C-3PO

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7:00 pm
Sun 27 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Sun 27 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels as he reflects on his role as one of cinema's most famous droids
Join Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels as he reflects on his role as one of cinema's most famous...
Anne Carson, poet
7:30 pm
Wed 30 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 30 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Cheers to 40 years of the London Review of Books at an evening of poetry, music and collaboration
Cheers to 40 years of the London Review of Books at an evening of poetry, music and collaboration
Dame Julie Andrews, actress
2:30 pm
Sat 02 Nov 2019
2:30 pm | Sat 02 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
In a UK-exclusive event, the beloved star of stage and screen celebrates the publication of her memoir
In a UK-exclusive event, the beloved star of stage and screen celebrates the publication of her...
Sold out
Ruth Sutoye, poet
8:00 pm
Wed 06 Nov 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 06 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Who are our literary mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers?
Who are our literary mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers?
Mariam Khan, editor and activist
7:00 pm
Thu 07 Nov 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 07 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Hear from writers, poets and activists as they discuss the contemporary Muslim female experience
Hear from writers, poets and activists as they discuss the contemporary Muslim female experience
Will Self, writer
7:30 pm
Sat 09 Nov 2019
7:30 pm | Sat 09 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Get yourself to this event launching the author and cultural icon’s memoir, Will
Get yourself to this event launching the author and cultural icon’s memoir, Will
Yara Rodrigues Fowler, novelist
7:45 pm
Tue 19 Nov 2019
7:45 pm | Tue 19 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Meet the lauded and vibrant voices of British Latinx writers at this discussion and reading
Meet the lauded and vibrant voices of British Latinx writers at this discussion and reading
Violet Nights: Homeless in the City
8:00 pm
Wed 20 Nov 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 20 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Hear some of the best written and spoken-word poetry in our latest series of late-night salons
Hear some of the best written and spoken-word poetry in our latest series of late-night salons
Out-Spoken at Southbank Centre
1:00 pm
Sat 23 Nov 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 23 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Join the poet and playwright for a masterclass to fine-tune your writing
Join the poet and playwright for a masterclass to fine-tune your writing
 Jensen Sisters, musicians
7:45 pm
Sat 23 Nov 2019
7:45 pm | Sat 23 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
jazz & blues
The West Canadian sisters demonstrate their rich, intuitive jazz sound in concert with a new big band
The West Canadian sisters demonstrate their rich, intuitive jazz sound in concert with a new big...
Malcolm Gladwell, journalist
7:30 pm
Mon 25 Nov 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 25 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Dive into the many facets of why we misread other people with the bestselling author and journalist
Dive into the many facets of why we misread other people with the bestselling author and journalist
7:30 pm
Mon 25 Nov 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 25 Nov 2019
classical music
contemporary classical
Come face-to-face with the great classical composers in an evening of live performance and conversation
Come face-to-face with the great classical composers in an evening of live performance and...
Paul Burston, journalist and author
7:30 pm
Mon 25 Nov 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 25 Nov 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Blow out the candles for the literary salon’s 12th birthday at an evening with the Queer As Folk screenwriter
Blow out the candles for the literary salon’s 12th birthday at an evening with the Queer As Folk...
Out-Spoken: November at Southbank Centre
7:45 pm
Thu 28 Nov 2019
7:45 pm | Thu 28 Nov 2019
gigs
literature & poetry
Rub elbows with award-winning poets at this month’s poetry and live music gathering
Rub elbows with award-winning poets at this month’s poetry and live music gathering
City of London Symphonia at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
3:00 pm
Sun 01 Dec 2019
3:00 pm | Sun 01 Dec 2019
classical music
literature & poetry
Four writers join City of London Sinfonia to retell stories from One Thousand and One Nights
Four writers join City of London Sinfonia to retell stories from One Thousand and One Nights
Nadiya Hussain, baker and television presenter
7:30 pm
Sun 01 Dec 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 01 Dec 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The Bake Off winner celebrates the publication of her memoir in her own warm, honest and humorous way
The Bake Off winner celebrates the publication of her memoir in her own warm, honest and humorous...
Beyond Imitation drawing
8:00 pm
Wed 04 Dec 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 04 Dec 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
What is poetry’s relationship with art? Find out at this evening of readings and discussion with special guest poets.
What is poetry’s relationship with art? Find out at this evening of readings and discussion with...
Paul Burston, journalist and author
7:30 pm
Mon 09 Dec 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 09 Dec 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
The LGBTQ+ literary salon's sparkling seasonal finale, with the bestselling author of Then She Was Gone
The LGBTQ+ literary salon's sparkling seasonal finale, with the bestselling author of Then She...
David Sedaris, writer
Various times
3 Jun 2020 - 10 Jun 2020
Various times | 3 Jun 2020 - 10 Jun 2020
literature & poetry
Get to the heart of the human condition at a live show of the bestselling author’s sardonic wit
Get to the heart of the human condition at a live show of the bestselling author’s sardonic wit

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highlights

22 Sep
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
8 Sep
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
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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

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The poet on the importance of Picasso’s work and the challenge of responding to it
story
Take the chance to hear from authors, writers and publishers in a series of intimate short talks
story
Introducing an award-winning author with an increasingly global following

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