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.

The 2019 literature programme encompasses exclusive in-conversation discussions with award-winning authors including Ian McEwan and James Ellroy; debut novelists Candice Carty-Williams and Ocean Vuong on their much anticipated new novels; a celebration of working class writers with the launch of the Common People Anthology; an expanded series of new courses, exhibitions, prizes and for poetry fans our series of National Poetry Library Lates and our new partnership with Out-Spoken will see the best new poetry showcased monthly. 

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Writer, Hisham Matar
7:15 pm
Tue 30 Apr 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 30 Apr 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Hear the Pulitzer Prize-winning author on the themes of his work, from memory and family to war and repair
Hear the Pulitzer Prize-winning author on the themes of his work, from memory and family to war and...
Image credit Barrie Tullett

Free

Free

7:30 pm
Tue 30 Apr 2019
7:30 pm | Tue 30 Apr 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
See the Divine Comedy anew at the launch of Barrie Tullett's exhibition responding to the epic poem
See the Divine Comedy anew at the launch of Barrie Tullett's exhibition responding to the epic...
Kit de Waal, writer
7:30 pm
Wed 01 May 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 01 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
What does it mean to be working class in Britain today?
What does it mean to be working class in Britain today?
Kim Hyesoon, poet
8:00 pm
Wed 01 May 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 01 May 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Our new series of poetry salons continues with poets Kim Hyesoon and Don Mee Choi
Our new series of poetry salons continues with poets Kim Hyesoon and Don Mee Choi
Bryony Gordon, journalist
2:30 pm
Sat 04 May 2019
2:30 pm | Sat 04 May 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Self-respect? Love and confidence? You got this. The author shares her fabulous, fearless guide for teens
Self-respect? Love and confidence? You got this. The author shares her fabulous, fearless guide for...
Rose McGowan, author and activist
7:30 pm
Sat 04 May 2019
7:30 pm | Sat 04 May 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The actor and activist discusses her life and the realities of exposing the truth about injustice
The actor and activist discusses her life and the realities of exposing the truth about injustice
Robert Macfarlane
7:15 pm
Tue 07 May 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 07 May 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The author of The Lost Words takes us on a voyage into the Earth's underworlds with his new book
The author of The Lost Words takes us on a voyage into the Earth's underworlds with his new...
Bang Said The Gun, poet on stage with a Mic
8:00 pm
Wed 08 May 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 08 May 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Like mud wrestling, only with words: the stand-up poetry night that's an antidote to dreary poetry
Like mud wrestling, only with words: the stand-up poetry night that's an antidote to dreary...
Sold out
Workshop participants sat at a table
1:00 pm
Sat 11 May 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 11 May 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
When is a poem finished? Find out at a workshop with the poet and founder of Out-Spoken
When is a poem finished? Find out at a workshop with the poet and founder of Out-Spoken
Sold out
Poet performing on stage
7:45 pm
Thu 16 May 2019
7:45 pm | Thu 16 May 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Poets Raymond Antrobus, Inua Ellams and Rebecca Tamás share their work in the first of a new series
Poets Raymond Antrobus, Inua Ellams and Rebecca Tamás share their work in the first of a new series

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literature & poetry highlights

29 May
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The master storyteller reflects on reinventing the modern classic Good Omens for the screen
27 May
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The ‘demon dog of American literature’ on new novel This Storm and his life in writing
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If our literature programme has you feeling inspired to put pen to paper, but you're not sure how or where to start, join one of our writing courses led by professional writers.

Choose from a selection of poetry or prose classes (or both) to develop your talent and find your voice, guided by expert instruction.

Bearing Witness in Poetry with Mary Jean Chan

23 Apr – 2 Jul 2019

Navigating Otherness: A Creative Writing Course

24 Apr – 3 Jul 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Anthony Anaxagorou

11 May 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Joelle Taylor

15 Jun 2019

Out-Spoken Poetry Masterclass: Raymond Antrobus

13 Jul 2019

blog: literature & poetry

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Find out more about the much-hyped debut novelist
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