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, Art Spiegelman discusses his harrowing graphic novel, Maus, podcaster Pandora Sykes of The High Low presents her brand new book, and world experts tackle the climate emergency.  

We also welcome Lisa Taddeo, Tayari Jones, Laura Bates, Samantha Irby and Ferran Adrià.

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David Mitchell, writer
7:30 pm
Mon 05 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Mon 05 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas launches his first novel in five years in a London exclusive
The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas launches his first novel in five years in a London exclusive
Claudia Rankine, poet
7:30 pm
Fri 09 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Fri 09 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: One of America’s leading writers urges us to breach the silence that surrounds whiteness
BROADCAST: One of America’s leading writers urges us to breach the silence that surrounds...
Kae Tempest. poet
7:30 pm
Fri 16 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Fri 16 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: In a voice that’s unmistakable for its raw honesty, the writer meditates on creativity
BROADCAST: In a voice that’s unmistakable for its raw honesty, the writer meditates on creativity
Dawn French, actress, comedian & writer
7:30 pm
Mon 19 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Mon 19 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: The bestselling author and comedian discusses her new novel, Because of You
BROADCAST: The bestselling author and comedian discusses her new novel, Because of You
7:30 pm
Thu 22 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 22 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: What is freedom? The author and activist reflects on what it means to be free today
BROADCAST: What is freedom? The author and activist reflects on what it means to be free today
Candice Brathwaite, writer
4:00 pm
Sat 24 Oct 2020
4:00 pm | Sat 24 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The blogger leads a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational discussion on life as a black mother
The blogger leads a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational discussion on life as a black mother
Alicia Garza, activist and writer
7:30 pm
Wed 28 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Wed 28 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: Black Lives Matter began when Alicia Garza wrote ‘a love letter to Black people’
BROADCAST: Black Lives Matter began when Alicia Garza wrote ‘a love letter to Black people’
John Cleese, actor
7:30 pm
Mon 02 Nov 2020
7:30 pm | Mon 02 Nov 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
BROADCAST: The comedy legend shows us how to exercise our imaginations and be more creative
BROADCAST: The comedy legend shows us how to exercise our imaginations and be more creative
Johny Pitts, writer
7:00 pm
Tue 09 Mar 2021
7:00 pm | Tue 09 Mar 2021
gigs
literature & poetry
All aboard for an exhilarating whistle-stop tour of unseen Europe using music, words, images and film
All aboard for an exhilarating whistle-stop tour of unseen Europe using music, words, images and...
Adam Buxton, comedian
7:30 pm
Sun 25 Apr 2021
7:30 pm | Sun 25 Apr 2021
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Parenthood, boarding school trauma and confrontations on trains: the comedian's memoir covers it all
Parenthood, boarding school trauma and confrontations on trains: the comedian's memoir covers...
David Sedaris, writer
Various times
10 Jul 2021 - 11 Jul 2021
Various times | 10 Jul 2021 - 11 Jul 2021
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
Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, BBC broadcasters
8:00 pm
Tue 20 Jul 2021
8:00 pm | Tue 20 Jul 2021
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The live show spin-off from the podcast experience no one knew they wanted, until they got it
The live show spin-off from the podcast experience no one knew they wanted, until they got it

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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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blog: literature & poetry

story
Introducing a new online season of music, literature and comedy
story
Top tips from Jasmine Dellimore and Meera Ghanshamdas of Moon Lane Books
story
Find out more about the debut novelist behind 2020's Book of the Year, Queenie

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